The Demand for Urgent Action

by Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon

Rev. Dr. Cannon is one of our panelists for the Jerusalem Conference in Houston on October 11.

Just a little over a year ago, in September 2017, the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem issued an urgent warning that current actions by settler organizations and the Jerusalem municipal government constituted “a systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and to weaken the Christian presence.” They appealed to Christians around the world to stand with their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, today the situation has only worsened for the 11,000 Christians of Jerusalem. In December 2017, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision supported by 53 percent of American evangelicals. The Jerusalem municipality’s decision to tax all church properties not being used as worship space came within months of the President’s announcement. In protest, the heads of churches closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for three days. This demonstration of Christian unity succeeded in delaying the implementation of this destructive policy, while the municipal government subjected it to more intensive scrutiny. However, the threat has by no means subsided. This panel, featuring Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Jim Winkler, Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon, and  Dr. Iva Carruthers will look at ways the international Christian community can support the Christians of Jerusalem. Now that the Trump Administration has taken Jerusalem “off the table,” what avenues remain open to those who support a shared Jerusalem? How can religious pluralism and the right of each faith community to access its holy sites be protected in the face of such challenges?

Now is the time for Christians and all people of faith to come together to learn, listen and ACT on behalf of those whose rights are being denied, whose voices are being silenced. Register TODAY for the Jerusalem Conference.

Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon is the executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace and an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church. She is the editor of A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land and author of several books including Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World. She earned doctorates in History (Ph.D, University of California-Davis) and Spiritual Formation (D. Min, Northern Seminary). Her Ph.D focused on American History with the minor in Middle Eastern studies, focusing her dissertation on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine.