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From the Rubble of Palestine, A Message of Hope

March 31--Leading world peace activist, the Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, also this Easter weekend intervened to address what we are all called upon to do. A Palestinian, Dr. Isaac is the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine, where he commanded world attention for the nativity scene he created in December, showing the infant Jesus not in a manger, but amid war rubble; and he said in his Christmas sermon that, "If Christ were born today, he would be born under rubble in Gaza…"

On Good Friday, Isaac was interviewed by Al Jazeera on the crisis for Palestinians, and asked what his message is for Easter. He spoke for many minutes on the unspeakable situation in Gaza, and on the decades of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. He said there is a “misconception that this is a conflict.” No, it is “a daily reality of oppression and apartheid.” We can say, “Our Good Friday has lasted way too long…. We have been living in sorrow for way too long.” However, he pointed out, “both people in the streets and in the churches” around the world, now “disagree with their governments” tolerating this, and people should act. They should do so at Easter. Using religious references, he made a universal call for people to activate: “Sadly, too many people think of celebrating Easter in a very individualistic way,” but we have to think of others. Thinking that way, he said, you can draw hope from the Easter greetings, “Christ is risen, He is risen, indeed.

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