Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Ex-paramilitaries unite with Protestant and Catholic Clergy in Ireland to support the Middle East Peace Process
Yesterday I was in Belfast at the invitation of the Irish Council of Churches to give four lectures on Christian Zionism at Coke Centenary Presbyterian Church.
Among those present were Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of Ireland clergy as well as representatives of the International Christian Embassy and Council of Christians and Jews. Also present were four ex-paramilitaries from both sides of the divide (Republican and Unionists) now working together for reconciliation in Ireland.
What unites them is the common realisation that Christian Zionism is deeply destructive and exacerbating tensions between Israelis and Palestinians as it has done in Northern Ireland. It was very encouraging to dialogue wiyth them on best to achieve justice, peace and reconciliation in the Middle East through non-violence.
Today I travelled south by train to gave the same four presentations at Trinity College, Dublin, again sponsored by the Irish Council of Churches. Although a smaller gathering, it was nevertheless heartening to meet and engage with Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Church of Ireland clergy, university chaplains and academics working in common cause to further the Middle East Peace Process.
You can watch two interviews with Alan Martin, former chaplain of Trinity College, Dublin and Alan Lobergan, Church Liason Officer for the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.