Christians in the West need to cease giving uncritical, one-sided support to Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and instead engage with Christians in the Middle Eastern church who are working for peace and reconciliation.
That’s according to Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, an Anglican minister and founder of the UK-based Peacemaker Trust, a non-denominational Christian charity which works with churches in East Africa and the Middle East, particularly in areas where the church is marginalized or persecuted or where there are religious tensions, on projects based around evangelism, discipleship and issues of justice and peace.
Rev Dr Sizer says he’s working to show Christians “[how] to be part of the solution rather than a problem in the Middle East, not siding with either the Israeli regime or the Palestinian Authority but identifying with the Christians in the Middle East who are working for peace and reconciliation”.
Invited by various groups including the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network and Fighting Fathers Ministries, Rev Dr Sizer is spending a couple of weeks in Australia speaking at a series of events on a mission to “deconstruct” how the Bible has, in his words, been “misused” to justify what he describes as the “apartheid regime in Israel today” and how Christians can be involved in bringing peace to the region.
“[How] to be part of the solution rather than a problem in the Middle East, not siding with either the Israeli regime or the Palestinian Authority but identifying with the Christians in the Middle East who are working for peace and reconciliation,” explains Dr Sizer, who founded the trust a few years ago so he could work fulltime in peace-making work, having previously spent more than 35 years doing so part time while also serving as a parish priest in England.