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Lutheran World Federation

Profile

Country/TerritorySwitzerland
Websitehttp://www.lutheranworld.org
Founded1947 by Lutheran churches in Lund, Sweden, as “a global communion of 144 churches in the Lutheran tradition, representing over 72 million Christians in 79 countries.”
In their own words“Support and develop the capacities of Lutheran churches for service and advocacy in response to human suffering”; “Carry out humanitarian and development programs on behalf of member churches, giving priority to people affected by conflict, emergencies and natural disasters”; “Improve capacity for responding to natural disasters and emergencies caused by conflict” and “Strengthen advocacy to address the root causes of injustice.”

Funding

  • 2013 income of £105,686,797, with £93,166,652 (88%) allocated to the Department for World Service (DWS).
  • £8,447,590 of the DWS income went to the LWF Jerusalem Program, a division of the DWS that operates in the Palestinian territories.
  • 2013 donors include: Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Australia, United States, Canada, and additional “International Funding Agencies.”

Activities

  • Based in Switzerland; works in more than 80 countries.
  • President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan (see below).
  • As the humanitarian and development arm of the LWF, the LWF Department for World Service (DWS) “works with marginalized and disadvantaged communities in the areas of greatest vulnerability and endemic need” and “provides humanitarian aid and assists in rehabilitation and development in 33 countries.”

Political Advocacy

  • Founding member of the ACT Alliance, which promotes demonizing rhetoric against Israel; international boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) campaigns; as well as the Kairos Palestine document, which denies Jewish historical connections to Israel.
  • Maintains “close cooperation” with the World Council of Churches, which similarly plays a key role in mobilizing churches worldwide to support the international BDS campaign against Israel.
  • Attended the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, also known as the Durban conference, which crystalized the strategy of delegitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation became a platform for intense anti-Israel and anti-Semitism activities.
  • Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, placing primary blame for the continuation of the conflict on the “Israeli occupation…Restrictions on movement [that] continue[s] to hamper [Palestinian] growth prospects…The statement omits Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, the legitimate right of the state of Israel to self-defense, and the complexities of the conflict.
  • President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan is also the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), which aims to “educate Lutheran and other Christian communities around the world about the presence of Arab Christians in the Holy Land and about the Palestinian struggle.”
    • In a personal capacity, Younan contributes to Israel demonization. Younan was the only “Head of Church” involved in drafting the Kairos Palestine document; he later withdrew his signature as an author and added it as a signatory.
    • In addressing the Middle East Council of Churches,Younan provided an entirely biased and distorted view of the situation, ignoring that the state of Israel grants full freedom of religion to Christians, stating (2013): “we demand that Jerusalem, the mother of all religions and the city of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, must be on the agenda of every church in the Middle East and throughout the world….Do we seek to be subordinate subjects, or citizens with equal rights and responsibilities? Do we seek toleration and protection? Do we run under the skirts of a warlord? Are we weak and persecuted, and thus in perpetual need for other Christians to rescue us?”

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