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October 12, 2011

Another Example of the WCC’s Double Standard

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One of the most troubling aspects about the witness offered by the World Council of Churches about life in the Middle East is the double standard it uses to assess the actions of Israel and its neighbors.

It has become axiomatic that when the WCC feels it necessary to condemn Israel, it speaks loudly and unequivocally about the terrible things done by the Jewish state. There is no confusion about what the WCC is trying to say.

By way of comparison, when one of Israel’s neighbors does something obviously wrong, the WCC descends into pious incomprehensibility that leaves readers wondering exactly who did what to who?

This phenomenon is highlighted in two posts the WCC’s Twitter feed. A few hours ago, the World Council of Churches (which goes by @oikoumene on twitter, reposted a “tweet” from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (@eappi) condemning Israel for demolishing “36 structures including 12 homes, displacing 35 people and affecting at least 207 others.” Such are tweets par for the course for the EAPPI, one of two WCC bureaucracies dedicated to assailing Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians. (The other is the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum.)

Given that Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters, it is unreasonable to demand that the World Council of Churches provide any background about the home demolitions. It’s possible (and entirely likely) that the homes were built illegally, without a permit.

The fact is, people lost their homes.

This is sad and tragic.

Underneath this tweet is another one declaring that the World Council of Churches “prays for #peace & nonviolence especially in #Egypt, #Philippines, #Zimbabwe”.

The tweet then provides links to two articles describing the violence in Egypt that killed more than 24 people – the vast majority of them Coptic Christians – on Oct. 9, 2011.

What is remarkable about this tweet is the lack of any condemnation of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – which governs Egypt – for failing to protect the lives and property of Coptic Christians in their homeland. Coptic Christians have been subjected to mob violence on a regular basis in Egypt and the best the WCC can do is offer up bland prayers for peace in Egypt and throw in a reference to violence in the Philippines to boot.

Coptic Christians were run over and had their bodies crushed by armored personnel carriers during Sunday’s violence. Television stations were ransacked by security personnel seeking to confiscate footage of this outrage.

Eyewitnesses have reported seeing bodies of Coptic Christians dumped into the Nile River.

Before Sunday’s violence, Egyptian soldiers were caught on tape beating a Coptic Christian in a manner reminiscent of the attack on Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1992.

Churches have been regularly burned in Egypt.

Coptic Christians are demonized on Egyptian television and on the internet by Muslim extremists, accused of kidnapping Muslim women and forcing them to convert to Christianity, when in fact it is Coptic women and girls who have been raped and abducted and forced to convert to Islam by their neighbors.

Coptic Christians are leaving Egypt in droves.

Events like this are happening on a regular basis in Egypt and the WCC, founded in the aftermath of the Holocaust, which began with events like those described above cannot bring itself to express the horror that such actions should elicit.

But when Palestinians have their homes demolished – which is tragic – the WCC throws itself into a high dudgeon.

There are a number of targets in Egypt worthy of the WCC’s ire. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that has governed Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster in February deserves condemnation. So does the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafist rivals in Egypt who have incited hostility toward Coptic Christians in such a manner so as to make violence against Christians in Egypt an inevitability.

Egypt – home to the largest population of Christians in the Middle East – is careening toward catastrophe and the World Council of Churches cannot speak in a forthright manner about what is happening. Neither can the National Council of Churches in the U.S., nor any of the mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. that have assailed Israel so frequently and so vociferously in the past few years.

B’Nai Brith and the American Jewish Committee have condemned the outrage, while Christian organizations have remained largely silent. The historical record indicates that when and if these Christian institutions do issue statements, they will likely be appeasing and mollifying, written so as not to offend the sensibilities of Muslim interfaith partners.

The record shows quite clearly that the sensibilities of Jews have not mattered much to these institutions when they felt it was time to condemn Israel for its actions.

In its defense, the WCC and other institutions will assert that expressing outrage over events in Egypt will make life unsafe for Christians in that country.

The conclusion is pretty obvious: The easiest way to silence the prophetic voice of Christian institutions in the West is to threaten violence against Christian populations in the Middle East. The Soviet Union used this strategy with great effectiveness during the Cold War. Now it’s being done today by non-state actors in the Middle East.

This is more than a scandal or stumbling block to Christian-Jewish relations.

It is also a scandal of Christian-Muslim relations.

If the WCC is to be an honest dialogue partner with Muslim leaders, it has an obligation to speak forthrightly about the mistreatment of Christians in Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

The WCC owes Muslims the truth, not silence, about the horrors done in the name of Islam.

Sadly, it appears that the truth is one thing the WCC cannot offer.

Posted by dvz at October 12, 2011 01:06 PM

Comments

I wouldn't worry a great deal about the WCC. When all the Copts are pogrommed out of Egypt the WCC will barely notice and where it does, it will blame the Jews. We should not expect anything else.

Posted by: Empress Trudy at October 12, 2011 02:32 PM

This indicates that the WCC cares more about hating the Jewish State than coming to the aid of fellow Christians.

So much for the WCC's moral high ground or integrity.

It is easier for them to hate and condemn (Jews) than to love even their fellow Christians.

Posted by: Eugene Korn at October 12, 2011 03:24 PM

No one individual, group, or organization wants to be the one after they have made confessions thru out the earth that their foundation for living is true truth, justice, righteousness, peace, and life (in today's world of injustice, covetousness, envy, and look the other way while I commit mayhem on every level and in every realm)to speak real truth about the dark evil grotesque manifestation of people's thoughts that are being done to not animals but "people". People could be your (it was and IS someones) brother ,sister, mother, father, close friend , or that person we sat not far from at lunch. Never think "It can't knock at my door". What? Injustice.
The reason this can happen is because at some level darkness and wrong is being done by those who claim to be Lighting The WAY. Those that should be spoken against are spoken for and agreed with.
Why? It's called compromising for self and greed, even though the teaching was taught what it is to be faithful and loyal to righteousness. But.......who today practices that?! Oh! Self righteousness-- that accounts for the stumbling and falling for any and every "THING".
Lay down with a dog, does not matter how many flea collars that dog has on--"YOU" "WILL"--rise with fleas.
So speaking to MYSELF first and now to ALL others who claim to be followers of Jesus the Christ and understanding the love for Israel (which is the much hated JEWS) that God the Father has.
TAKE A HOLY SPIRIT FLEA BATH .........
I DID

Posted by: timothy steele-fresnoca139 at October 14, 2011 01:41 AM

The attitude of the WCC is also reflected in approach the mass media takes in reporting the events in Israel and its neighbors, and sets the opinions of millions of Americans. Your analysis should be distributed word for word in paid advertising in every media and perhaps shame the WCC and other Christian institutions which behave with utter hypocracy.The thing is, I think they know it. How can they not? It gives them relief from the Christian guilt they feel for having remained silent during the Holocaust to latch onto the idea that Jews, too, are responsible for atrocities.

Posted by: Joel Steinberger at October 14, 2011 03:15 AM

Topic W.C.C. I have not come across a more evil organization. Christian? Nobody will ever forget what has taken place in Angola, and South Africa etc.many years ago where the World Council of Churches was involved in genocide, countless murders of Christians and others during this time. All documented by a Catholic Priest. The W.C.C. also collaborated with the communist to create abject suffering mainly for black people.

Posted by: Olaf at October 14, 2011 06:44 AM

The WCC does NOT reflect most Christians, I hope... certainly not I. I think they operate on "Replacement theology" and that is not Biblical at all.
Be assured true Christians are aiding other Christians and His Chosen as well to be One in G-d!

Posted by: Jeff Ravet at October 14, 2011 10:39 AM

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES? Sounds like part of a one world government controlled by a one world leader. GOD'S word calls him the antichrist. GOD'S word says that his children, we Gentiles (the wild olive branch) along with the Jews (the original olive branch), will share in HIS kingdom and both branches are grafted together by the root "The LORD CHRIST JESUS." I suggest we take heed lest we fall because GOD allways keeps his promises! (AMEN) "I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you. So be it!

Posted by: Don Whitehead at October 14, 2011 01:30 PM

I don't know about that organization. Christians -evangelical, born-again Christians- are not ecumenical. Sadly, you're right: loving the Jews is not taught in many churches. There's so much work to do, on both sides!

Posted by: S Franco at October 14, 2011 09:00 PM

The WCC does not represent me as a Christian. It wreaks with politial overtones. I pray for Israel. When 3-year old children get hit with rocks, from radicals, I understand and agree with the position Israel takes.

Posted by: Julia at October 16, 2011 12:02 PM

Many churches/Christians are not part of the WCC and find the propoganda and misinformation spread by media and other groups frightening and offensive. It is reminiscent of Nazi Germany and we must speak out loudly against it or history will repeat itself.

Posted by: Ellie at October 16, 2011 05:14 PM

I think in the early days of Israels existence, Arab Christian clerics supported the Arab line against the Jews/Israel and helped influence churches and groups like the WCC to become anti Israel. Now. the old adage about first they came for the Jews and now they are coming for-----,is happening to the middle eastern Christians. The enemies of Israel are boundless in their hate and they are determined to spread it in every corner of the globe. Their sick hatred of Israel/Jews, trumps the lives of fellow Christians.

Posted by: Ron kall at October 17, 2011 09:06 PM

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