What we do
Churches for Justice Speaking Tour 2013
From 10th – 16th April 2013, Sadaka hosted a visit of eminent Christian church leaders from Palestine.;
- H.E. Archbishop Theodosius Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem,
- Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek of the Epicopal (Anglican) Diocese of Jerusalem
- Rev. Dr. Fr. Peter Madros of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
This tour was organised to contribute to Sadaka’s long-term strategy of building support for the people of Palestine amongst churches, faith-based groups and members of church congregations. A key focus of the tours was the continued promotion of Kairos Palestine amongst this constituency. This groundbreaking document is the Christian Palestinians’ word to the world about what is happening in Palestine.
"Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. In this historic document, we Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings because true Christian theology is a theology of love and solidarity with the oppressed, a call to justice and equality among peoples."
The tour involved a series of meetings with senior church and political leaders. These included meetings with Cardinal Brady, Roman Catholic Primate of all Ireland; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin; members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade; senior officials in the Middle East Unit, Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Conor, representatives of Christian Aid and Trócaire, events hosted by City of Galway Deputy Mayor, Frank Fahy and representatives of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, as well as numerous media interviews.
Palestinian Church leaders with senior officials in the Middle East Unit, Dept. of Foreign Affairs and membersof the Sadaka Board
A newly published report on the Vatican website, highlights the rapid decline of the Christian
presence in the Holy Land and Palestine. Because of the hardships of the military
occupation, Christians are continuing to leave the Holy Land and the Christian community is
endangered in the land of its birth. (http://www.holylandalternatives.net/christianity.html).
The report reinforced the message of three eminent Palestinian Christian Church leaders on their speaking tour of Ireland. H.E. Archbishop Theodosios Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, The Rev. Dr. Naim Stifan Ateek, Canon Emeritus of St George's Cathedral Jerusalem, Episcopal (Anglican) , Rev. Fr. Dr. Peter Madros, official representative of the Latin (Roman Catholic) Patriarchate of Jerusalem travelled together to strengthen existing ties of friendship between Ireland and Palestine and called for a just peace for Palestinian Christians, for all Palestinians and for Israelis.
In highlighting the issue of the decreasing Christian population, the visiting delegation promoted the key messages of the 2009 Kairos Palestine document. In this historic document, Palestinian Christians declare that the "military occupation of (our) land is a sin against God and humanity". In addition, Kairos Palestine demands an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and all forms of discrimination.
The week-long series of engagements was organised by Sadaka in partnership with Trócaire and Christian Aid. It included meetings with representatives of Government, both North and South, Academics, Trade unions, and others. Each Palestinian Christian Church leader also concelebrated services in their Irish sister Churches. A short biography of each Church leader is attached below. The tour visited Dublin, Galway and Belfast, and ended on the 16th April 2013.
Born in 1965 in the Galilean village of Al Rameh, Theodosius (Atallah) Hanna attended local primary and secondary schools before entering the Clerical Patriarchate School in Jerusalem. In 1983 he matriculated at Thessalonica University in Greece in the Faculty of Theology. After graduating with honours, he went on to complete a Master's degree and Doctorate. In 1991, he was ordained as a deacon and priest in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The late Patriarch Diodoros invested him as Archimandrite and thereafter he was appointed Head of the Arabic Department for the Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem in which he acted as a spokesman for the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. An active and effective member of the international ecumenical movement at both local and regional level, he is also an active member of the Christian Islamic Discussion Forum in Palestine and has held membership of many other organisations. Theodosius is a well-known author and his articles are periodically published in various newspapers as well as in local and international magazines. He had received numerous honours and awards from many Arab and Islamic countries as well as from the city of Barcelona and others.
Born in 1937 in the town of Beisan south of the Sea of Galilee, Naim’s family was forcibly displaced in 1948 by Zionist forces during the creation of the Israeli state. He was reared in Nazareth and ordained in the Anglican (Episcopal) Church in 1967. He holds degrees from Hardin-Simmons University (TX) and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CA). He earned a Doctor of Divinity degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary (CA) in 1985. Naim received the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Sayre Award and Distinguished Alumnus awards from San Francisco Theological Seminary and Hardin Simmons University. He holds Honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Naim established the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem in 1991. Previous to that, he served as Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and also served as parish priest in Haifa and Nazareth. He was the first to articulate a Palestinian theology of liberation in his book, Justice, and only Justice, a Palestinian Theology of Liberation, published in 1989. This book laid the foundation of a theology that addresses the situation in Palestine and explores the political as well as religious, biblical and theological dimensions. He is also the author and editor of numerous other books, including Faith and the Intifada; Jerusalem: What Makes for Peace; Our Story: The Palestinians; Holy Land, Hollow Jubilee: God, Justice and the Palestinians.
Born in Jerusalem 1949, Fr. Peter is of Palestinian - Armenian background and was educated at the seminary in Beit Jala in the Bethlehem Governate. Ordained in 1972, he first served as curate in Birzeit, later working for 2 years as a missionary in South Sudan. He has also served as a priest in both Beit Jala and Beit Sahour in the Bethlehem Governate. Fr. Peter is an accomplished biblical scholar with specialisations in Biblical Sciences and Biblical Theology alongside his qualification in Catechetics. He is a noted linguist and holds a Masters Degree in Biblical Languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) and also fluently speaks eleven living languages: Arabic, Armenian, Dutch, English, French, German, modern Greek, modern Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. The Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Middle East adopted Fr. Madros' Arabic translation of the Psalter as the official version for liturgical use. Since February 2003 he has been Director of the “St. Sophronius” Biblical Pastoral Centre in Jerusalem and in 2007 became Representative of the Catholic Church at the “Palestinian Bible Society in Jerusalem.” Fr. Peter is a well noted writer and broadcaster in the Holy Land.