There we were last week in Bethlehem, hundreds of us from sixteen nations praying with a hundred local Palestinian Christians, singing hymns, listening to the Sermon on the Mount, offering intercession -- all in the dark shadow of the evil Israeli wall which imprisons the Palestinians of the West Bank.
To our left, just a few feet away stood a Palestinian refugee camp for the displaced peoples, and hovering over them on a hillside, one of the many unjust Israeli settlements.
Our prayer for peace was held in the court yard of the Wi’am Palestinian conflict resolution center, which faces the towering wall several yards away.
From this vantage point, we could easily read the hand-writing on the wall: “This is not peace, this is fascism!” “$7 million a day for this?” “Stop the $3 billion a year for Israeli apartheid!” “Seriously Obama, you’re okay with this?” “War is not the answer,” “Build bridges, not walls,”“Is this security?” “Mr. Netanyahu, tear down this wall!”
High above the colorful graffiti, friends had painted the name of our conference in large letters: Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness, and Resistance.