Faith-Based Action for Justice for Palestinians

By Visualizing Palestine

The 9th and final visual of the series is from Nazareth, where Palestinian Christians are celebrating holy week. In 2009, Palestinian Christians issued the Kairos Document to reach out to Christians around the world. The document expresses the view that Christian love demands solidarity with oppressed peoples, such as Palestinians. Today, at least 14.87 million Americans belong to a church or denominational group that has engaged in faith-based collective action for Palestinian human rights.

“We see boycott and disinvestment as tools of non-violence for justice, peace and security for all.”
— Kairos Palestine Document

Each of the churches in this visual have taken actions such as: divesting from specific companies that profit off of Israel’s human rights abuses; implementing a rights-conscious investment screen; supporting the strategic boycott of Israeli products; or calling for an end to US military aid to Israel. While this visual focuses on decisions made at the higher levels of Church leadership, numerous congregations have taken action at the local level, too. For example, dozens of congregations have pledged to go HP-free, due to HP’s role in providing the Israeli military with technology, equipment, and services it uses to abuse Palestinian human rights.

“We ask our sister Churches not to offer a theological cover-up for the injustice we suffer.”
— Kairos Palestine Document

In July of 2017, Vice President Mike Pence told attendees at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit, “my passion for Israel springs from my Christian faith.” Christian Zionism indeed offers a “theological cover-up” for oppression, and is an influential force in sustaining US support for Israeli policy. The actions of Christian groups highlighted in this visual provide a powerful theological alternative, one focused on the values of love, compassion, and justice Christians see exemplified in the life and teachings of Jesus.

“We call on you…to take a position of truth with regard to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.”
— Kairos Palestine Document

Palestinian Christians are members of some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Like Palestinians of all faiths or no faith, they have lived under Israel’s military occupation for more than half a century, and their lives, communities, and heritage sites have been degraded by Israeli policy.

“Let us together try to rise up.”
— Kairos Palestine Document, in a section addressing Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders

We highlight Christian solidarity and the voices of Palestinian Christians in this visual to deepen international understanding of elements of Palestinian civil society that are often intentionally overlooked. Israel’s oppression of Palestinians impacts all Palestinians: Muslims, Christians, atheists, LGBTQ+ people, the economically disadvantaged, women, people with disabilities, children, and more. Solidarity brings us together as allies across lines of faith, race, class, geography, and identity in pursuit of justice for everyone.

On this note of love and indivisible justice, we are closing our Growth of a Movement series (for now). We started releasing this collection in February to highlight enduring tactics of collective action and moments of impact in the movement for Palestinian human rights. We hope that you felt as much hope in viewing these stories as we felt in creating them and that each of you will continue to contribute in whatever way you can to the realization of the next step, the next story, the next action inching us closer to justice.

Visualizing Palestine

Visualizing Palestine creates data-driven tools to advance a factual, rights-based narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Our researchers, designers, technologists, and communications specialists work in partnership with civil society actors to amplify their impact and promote justice and equality.

Launched in 2012, VP is the first portfolio of Visualizing Impact (VI) an independent, non-profit laboratory for innovation at the intersection of data science, technology, and design.