Called the “Desmond Tutu of Palestine,” Rev. Naim Ateek is a peacemaker who was born in 1937 in the Palestinian village of Beisan. He was ordained in the Anglican Church in 1967, and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Ateek established the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem in 1991. Prior to that, he served as Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and also served as a priest in Haifa and Nazareth. He has authored many books including: Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, Faith and the Intifafa: Palestinian Christian Voices, Holy Land, Holly Jubilee: God, Justice and the Palestinians, and A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation.
For more information about Rev. Naim Ateek and Sabeel, please visit http://www.sabeel.org//.HCC co-sponsored a lecture by Rev. Ateek at Grand Valley State University, where he spoke on the history, vision, and continuing work of Sabeel in Palestine-Israel as well as his own story as a Palestinian Christian. Students, faculty, and community members attended the event.
“Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, to promote unity among them and lead them to act for justice and peace. Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. The word “Sabeel” is Arabic for ‘the way‘ and also a ‘channel‘ or ‘spring‘ of life-giving water.
Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence and witness of Palestinian Christians as well as their contemporary concerns. It encourages individuals and groups from around the world to work for a just, comprehensive and enduring peace informed by truth and empowered by prayer and action.” [Sabeel. “Sabeel Purpose Statement,” http://sabeel.org/ourstory.php]
For more information about Rev. Naim Ateek and Sabeel, please visit http://www.sabeel.org//.
HCC members welcomed Rev. Naim Ateek for dinner at the Pita House [www.thepitahouse.net], a local Grand Rapids restaurant owned and operated by HCC board member Basel Shatara.