Dear friends, our Palestinian sisters and brothers in the faith
Welcome home! As you know, South Africa is the cradle of all humanity and we are therefore all Africans, and I welcome you back home to Africa. I apologise that I cannot be at your conference in Johannesburg.
We honour the fact that a new humanity was born in a cradle in Bethlehem and therefore the encounter between Kairos Southern Africa and Kairos Palestine has a very special significance, not least because this is also the place where Kairos theology was born and where a line was drawn in the sand when Christians declared: “Enough is enough. No longer will God’s name be misused to justify an evil ideology”. Through your Kairos document, you have now done the same, and we know that your motivation is not political, but because the very essence of the Gospel is at stake. You are not only concerned about your own humanity, but also about the humanity of the oppressor, for whose redemption we will continue to pray and work. You have now re-inspired us as I know you were inspired by the role that many Christians played in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and for this we thank you. Because we are one body, we are now in complete solidarity with you and we look forward to rejoicing with you when your freedom comes.
This is our faith: Just as the wall of Apartheid came tumbling down, the wall of Israeli apartheid will also come tumbling down. About that we have no doubt. Those with guns and dogs and bullets could not crush our quest for freedom, and the rest of humanity now joins you in your struggle and encourage you in your non-violent struggle as Israel now arrogantly struts around with their weapons of violence, sadly supported by some Christians in the West. Our Bible however tells us that violence will never have the last word; the message of faith, hope and love, which you have proclaimed, will have the last word. This is what we are assured of and this is what we will keep on working and praying for.
May your conference be blessed and may the seeds of this conference fall on rich ground, and nourish your faith as you gather together. Our God neither slumbers nor sleeps, and therefore he hears the cry of your hearts and he will, in his risen Body, once again overcome the forces of death, just as he did outside the gates of Jerusalem.
God bless you.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu