Friday, August 23, 2013

This weekend:
This year, Greenbelt celebrates 40 years as a Christian arts, faith and justice festival. The festival organizers have chosen the theme ‘Life begins’, and we will be using our presence there to remember those for whom life is permanently on hold.

Our installation in the Centaur foyer aims to give a glimpse of the challenges faced by ordinary Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. There'll be a giant, interactive floor game - Occupation! - for all ages. Roll the dice and make your way through checkpoints and challenges, permit denials and poverty. On your journey, you’ll learn about the issues affecting the West Bank and Gaza and find out how you can help Embrace the Middle East to make a positive difference to the lives of marginalised people.

Occupation! is just a game, and you can walk freely away whenever you want, but the message behind it is a serious one. In the West Bank and Gaza, injustice continues to weave through the fabric of Palestinian life. Join us as we embrace the work of our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in their determination to be agents of change.


Not that Greenbelt is only indoctrinating children:
One of our Greenbelt highlights will be the official launch of Kairos Britain: A Time for Action, the new booklet from British Church leaders responding the 2009 Kairos Palestine Call, challenging British Churches and Christians to take action and stand with our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine against Israel’s 46-year occupation of their land in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. The launch will be at 12.30pm on Sunday. We’re hosting a reception after the launch, so do stay and take the opportunity to talk some more.
While the Greenbelt site has many, many articles about how evil Israel is, there is not a single posting there about how Coptic Christians are being attacked, today, in Egypt. In case the social justice people at Greenbelt missed it, here are the latest stats:
47 churches attacked, of which 25 were burned, seven looted and destroyed, five partly damaged, and 10 attacked without sustaining heavy damage. Nor how Christians are fleeing Lebanon.
Nor does Greenbelt discuss how Muslims have pushed Christians out of Bethlehem. They used to be a majority, including under Israeli rule; now under the PA they are almost gone. And it isn't because of Israel. It  is systemic Muslim discrimination and therefore a topic that must not be discussed.

Christians in Gaza? Not a topic that Greenbelt wants to discuss. Wouldn't want to upset Hamas, would we?

Not a word about how the Middle East is turning into a Christian-free zone, everywhere -except Israel.

And only a single article about Syrian Christians becoming refugees. In the past two years, Syria has become the only Arab country that one is allowed to criticize without worrying about losing your lefty credentials. It is still nowhere as monstrous as Israel, of course, based on the amount of attention it gets at fun, family festivals like Greenbelt. They'd have to gas at least a half million more people to death and etch crosses in their faces to start getting the same attention Israel get from good, moral, justice-seeking Christians like the ones at Greenbelt.

See also the Archbishop Cramner site. H/t to Alex for WSJ link, a very worthwhile article.

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