Palestinian Christians memorialize Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Desmond Tutu speaking at the German Evangelical Church in 2007. (credit: Elke Wetzig / Wikimedia Commons)
Palestinian Christians paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a prayer service that was held where Tutu prayed when he visited Beit Sahour in 1989.

By Jeff Wright | Mondoweiss | Feb 15, 2022

It’s not surprising, then, that three decades before the recent reports of B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Tutu had identified the situation in Palestine/Israel as apartheid.

Last week, Palestinian Christians gathered in Beit Sahour, a community adjacent to Bethlehem, to pay tribute to Nobel Peace Prize winner Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu who died in December last year. The prayer service was held at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, where Tutu prayed when he visited the town in 1989.

Tutu had come to Beit Sahour during the first Palestinian Intifada. He spoke at Shepherds’ Fields in Beit Sahour, where he was welcomed by thousands of Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim. That visit wasn’t his first. As a young priest, Tutu had come to Jerusalem in 1966 to study Arabic and Greek. It’s not surprising, then, that three decades before the recent reports of B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Tutu had identified the situation in Palestine/Israel as apartheid.

Last week’s memorial service was organized by Kairos Palestine, the Palestinian Christian ecumenical nonviolent movement based on the Kairos Palestine document: A Moment of Truth. The service included readings from A Moment of Truth, the writing of which was inspired by the 1985 South African Kairos document that challenged the global church to recognize and resist South African apartheid.

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