BDS IN THE PEWS
World Council of Churches (WCC)
November 12, 2014
- Website: www.oikoumene.org/
- The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a collective of “347 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories.”
- Defines its mission as “call[ing] one another to visible unity in one faith and in one Eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and common life in Christ, through witness and service to the world, and to advance towards that unity in order that the world may believe.”
- Funding: 2013 total income of CHF 31.2 million.
- Donors include: Norway, Bread for the World (Germany), Christian Aid (UK), DanChurch Aid (Denmark), Finn Church Aid (Finland), Norwegian Church Aid (Norway), ICCO (Netherlands), Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), UNICEF, as well as numerous other churches and church aid organizations. (See below for detailed funding information.)
- Structure: In the Middle East, WCC has 12 member churches, all of which are active in the “Israel / Palestine” network.
- The WCC established several highly biased and politicized subgroups, including Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF), and the Jerusalem Interchurch Centre (JIC).
- The regional chapter of the WCC, called the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), was founded in 1974, and includes the Department of Service to the Palestine Refugees (DSPR), a branch that is specifically designated to promote the cause of Palestinian refugees. The DSPR divides further, with the Near Eastern Council of Churches International Christian Committee (NECC-ICC) dispensing aid to Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the Near East Council of Churches Committee for Refugee Work (NECCCRW) focusing on Gaza.
- Political Advocacy: Plays a key role in mobilizing churches worldwide to support the international BDS campaign against Israel.
- Regularly issues statements that deny Israel’s right to exist including a May 29, 2013 statement claiming that “sixty-five years  of continuing dispossession of Palestinian people—Christian and Muslim alike—from their land by Israeli occupation… is central to the turmoil in the region and exacerbated by duplicity of policies of the western powers, especially the United States.”
- The WCC was a key promoter of the Kairos Palestine document, which promotes BDS and denies the Jewish historical connection to the land of Israel.
- Engages in international advocacy and in September 2014 presented a “set of recommendations advocating the rights of stateless persons” at the First Global Forum on Statelessness organized by the UNHRC.
- During the 2014 Gaza conflict, WCC released several statements placing sole blame for the conflict on Israel and ignoring Hamas terrorism against Israeli civilians. One statement, issued July 11, alleged that, “What is happening in Gaza now is not an isolated tragedy. These events have to be seen in the context of the occupation of Palestinian territories that began in 1967. The WCC has always called for an end to this illegal occupation and the continuous blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel. Without an end to the occupation, the cycle of violence will continue.”
- The WCC works closely with Sabeel, a Palestinian NGO that claims that the Palestinians represent a modern-day version of Jesus’ suffering and utilizes deicide imagery and supercessionist rhetoric to demonize Israel and Judaism.
- The WCC and Sabeel published a 2008 resource booklet titled “Imagine Peace,” which maintains that Jesus’ promise of peace is unfulfilled because “this part of the world is under the domination of American/Israeli military power.”
- WCC, together with PIEF, organizes annual World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel (WWPPI), which seeks to target policy-makers, community groups, and local parishes regarding “the urgent need” to end the “illegal occupation and secure the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.” The 2014 WWPPI focused on “Palestinian political prisoners” – a term that, in PIEF’s usage, includes terrorists convicted for attacks against civilians. (See here for NGO Monitor’s factsheet on the World Council of Churches’ “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel”- September 21-27, 2014).
Governmental funding for the World Council of Churches (Amounts in Swiss Francs- CHF)
|Direct government funding
|Indirect government funding to WCC
|Act for Peace
|Bread for the World (Germany)
|Christian Aid (UK)
|Church World Service
|DanChurch Aid (Denmark)
|Diakonie Auslandshilfe - Osterreichische (Germany)
|EED - Church Development Center (Germany)
|FinnChurch Aid (Finland)
|HEKS - Swiss Interchurch Aid (Switzerland)
|Kerk in Actie (Netherlands)
|Lutheran World Federation
|Norwegian Church Aid (Norway)
World Council of Churches´ "World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel" - September 21-27, 2014, NGO Monitor factsheet, September 21, 2014
World Council of Churches Advocates for Release of Terrorists to Achieve "Peace", NGO Monitor press release, September 21, 2014
World Council of Churches Presents: World Week for Release of Palestinian Terrorists, Rivka Hecht, The Layman, October 1, 2014