Category Archives: Church of England

The Church of England’s Complicity in the Gaza Genocide

“Gaza today has become the moral compass of the world”, insisted the Reverend Dr. Munther Isaac in his 2023 Christmas sermon, entitled, “Christ in the Rubble.” After his sermon went viral, his words were subsequently quoted by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

A short video introduction to the article – viewed 18k times in the first week.

Lamentably, many Christian leaders in the USA and Europe have stood by, silent and complicit, unwilling to criticise Israel for what is increasingly recognised as a genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people. 

This article will analyse the Church of England official statements about Gaza since 7th October 2023, together with criticisms, and provide an assessment of the Church’s moral integrity in its stance on Gaza.

Download the complete article – or continue to read the summary conclusions:

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Archbishop Justin Welby Where is Your Moral Compass?

The Lambeth Witness Group of Campain, have produced a leaflet to protest the continued complicity of the Church of England with the pro-Israel lobby regarding the Gaza genocide.

As leader of the Church of England, your job involves standing up for human rights, peace, and justice. 

But, when it comes to Israel, you never go to the heart of the matter. 

We are glad you have called out the killing and starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, but you never denounce the root cause, which is Israel’s long-term ethnic cleansing programme. Nor do you call out our government’s enduring diplomatic and military support for Israel. 

As Israel starves, burns and bombs the civilian population of Gaza and the West Bank, you treat it as if it were acting out self-defence, on a higher moral plane from Hamas. 

We see no rationale for this. Some of Hamas’s actions on October 7 were war crimes, and need to be investigated. However, it is Israel’s ethnic cleansing project that drives the whole cycle of violence. 

As far back as 1937 the father of the Israeli nation David Ben Gurion wrote: “We must expel the Arabs and take their places”. And since 1948, Israel has killed, maimed, dispossessed and exiled Palestinians, occupying their land, destroying their homes and infrastructure, and stealing their natural resources. These are war crimes.

Too often, you have denounced British people who stand up for the Palestinians as anti-Semitic, fanning the flames of culture wars. And you have not backed up your assertions with hard evidence. 

And when Iran attacked Israel, you tweeted a prayer for Israel – but you didn’t denounce Israel’s provocative attack on an Iranian consulate, which is a war crime.

As head of the established Church, and with 26 bishops in the House of Lords, you can and should do better. It is time to hold Government to account. So please show moral leadership and demand that the British government immediately:

• Insist on a permanent ceasefire
• End all diplomatic, military and logistical support for Israel’s war 
• End all arms supply to Israel, a move that polls show would have overwhelming public support, and
• Renew funding for UNRWA, Gaza’s crucial provider of food and humanitarian aid that Israel has dishonestly sought to discredit.

A Survey of CofE Bishops Reveals a Moral Vacuum on Israel and Palestine

A survey of Anglican Bishops was planned by a coalition of ten Christian, Jewish, Muslim and secular groups[1] that were concerned about the position the Church of England had taken vis-à-vis Israel/Palestine under the leadership of Archbishop Justin Welby. It was executed by CAMPAIN (the Campaign against Misrepresentation in Public Affairs, Information and the News)

An Open Letter of April 25th raised a series of issues, but the matter of most immediate concern was Welby’s denial of the existence of Israeli apartheid, which placed him at odds with the views of late Archbishop Tutu, the Anglican Church of South Africa, renowned international and Israeli human rights organisations, Palestinian Christians and the United Nations. 

The purpose of the survey was to ascertain whether other CofE bishops widely shared Welby’s opinion, and if so, why?

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John Stott : The Place of Israel

John Stott will long be remembered as a pastor and teacher and inspirational leader within the Anglican evangelical community for over 65 years. Less well known is the courageous stand John took on the need for justice and peace in the Middle East. John kindly wrote the foreword to In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Apostles and allowed his sermon on ‘the Place of Israel‘ to be included in Zion’s Christian Soldiers He also wrote this gracious commendation of Christian Zionism

“I am glad to commend Stephen Sizer’s ground-breaking critique of Christian Zionism. His comprehensive overview of its roots, its theological basis and its political consequences is very timely. I myself believe that Zionism, both political and Christian, is incompatible with biblical faith. Stephen’s book has helped to reinforce this conviction.”

To make John’s views on the Place of Israel more widely known I am reproducing his sermon here:  Continue reading

Bishop’s Chaplain: A New Appointment

Dear Stephen,

Re. Bishop’s Chaplain

Salaam in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection from the death we celebrate these days ever proclaiming: “Jesus Christ is risen”.

In recognition of our long-standing relationship of over thirty years, I am writing to formally invite you to become my chaplain in the UK, to assist me when I am visiting, or to advise me in the fulfilment of my episcopal duties, albeit in retirement.

My dear Stephen, you are a person of integrity and forthright views with the courage to express them.

At the same time you have always shown the utmost respect for the adherents of different faiths, in particular to Jews and Moslems, while advocating for Christian presence in the Land of the Holy One, Israel and Palestine, and campaigning for Palestinian Human Rights.

I wish more servants of Christ, bishops and clergy, Anglicans and others, were as courageous as you in challenging the destructive effects of Israeli apartheid and Christian Zionism on both Jews and Palestinians.

I appreciate your prayers, your advocacy and solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land.

Know this comes with my prayers and my sincere thanks in advance.

In Christ,

+Bishop Riah Abo El Assal

I have been assisting Bishop Riah in the fulfilment of his episcopal duties in an informal capacity for decades. It is a delight and honour to have that role more formally recognised.

Jonathan Coulter on CAMPAIN and the Church of England

In this interview Jonathan Coulter explains the work of CAMPAIN and reasons for their recent Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

You can read and sign the Open Letter here

Background to the Open letter:

Jonathan’s article “What is Wrong with the the IHRA working definition of antisemitism?

View other YouTube interviews here