Israel ended its brief suspension of relations with Pat Robertson after the controversial religious broadcaster apologized for suggesting that Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for Israel’s withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
In what one official called the “penultimate” step toward full communion with the United Methodist Church, delegates at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s biennial assembly overwhelmingly approved an interim agreement to permit the sharing of the rite of communion.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has announced plans to target five public companies that it says “contribute to the ongoing violence that plagues Israel and Palestine.” Church officials said they could ultimately pull their assets, or divest, from those companies if corporate behavior remains unchanged.
Despite lobbying pleas from a noted Jewish organization, delegates to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly have passed a resolution calling on Israel to stop construction of a security barrier intended to stop suicide bombers.
The Vatican, in a sharp retort to Israeli criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, said it could not protest every act of Palestinian terrorism because Israel’s responses are “not always compatible with the norms of international law.”
The alliance between conservative Christians and Jews seems bizarre, even surreal, to many people. Christians and Jews alike have noted that such a development would have been unfathomable throughout most of Christian history.
Contrary to some expectations, the United Church of Christ convention over the Fourth of July weekend in Atlanta reaffirmed traditional Christian claims and rejected financial divestment tactics against Israel as a way to work for Mideast peace.
The United Church of Christ will vote in July on whether to pull invested church money from U.S. companies involved in constructing Israeli settlements and assisting with security measures in Palestinian territories.