A brief history of apartheid tracing its roots from European colonialism, white supremacism and black slavery, through to segregation in the US, Fascism in Germany to Apartheid in South Africa and Israel.
A summary of how the Bible has been used to justify white supremacism, segregation and apartheid.
A biblical refutation of apartheid.
A Bible study to encourage personal reflection as well as group discussion.
This paper will examine how biblical texts have been used by proponents of segregation in the USA and apartheid in South Africa. It does not elaborate specifically on how Christian Zionists use the Bible to justify Israeli supremacism, the subjugation of Palestinians or the colonisation of their land. These are addressed more fully in my book Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon? . Zion’s Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel and the Church, provides a more detailed study of the biblical texts concerning the two key elements of apartheid theology – supremacism “Chosen People” and colonisation “Promised Land”
You may also download a Bible Study for personal reflection or group discussion and read a short reflection based on Isaiah 65. For a more detailed examination of the biblical relationship between Israel and the Church (and deconstruction of Christian Zionism), download Seven Biblical Answers.
 A summary of this paper was delivered at the annual Sabeel-Kairos UK conference on 25 September 2021.
Although the term apartheid emerged in the 20th Century, supremacism, and racial prejudice can be traced back to biblical times – and sadly, as prevalent even among God’s people, as it is now. Through the prophet Isaiah, God says,
“Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” …And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants… and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain… for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:3, 6-7)
“I am glad to commend Stephen Sizer’s groundbreaking critique of Christian Zionism. His comprehensive overview of its roots, its theological basis, and its political consequences is very timely. I myself believe that Zionism, both political and Christian, is incompatible with biblical faith. Stephen’s book has helped to reinforce this conviction.” — Rev. Dr. John Stott
The seeds of this book were sown over forty years ago when, as a young Christian, I devoured Hal Lindsey’s best-selling book, The Late Great Planet Earth, and heard in person his mesmerising lectures on eschatology. It seemed as if the Bible was literally coming true before our very eyes.
Kumi Now are working to connect activists around the world with the organizations working on the ground in Palestine and Israel to bring a just and lasting peace based on international law and nonviolence.
All Palestinians regardless of their faith face similar challenges. However, Palestinian Christians face a specific kind of challenge from Christian Zionists who manipulate scripture to support the oppression of Palestinians. On August 22, 2006 Palestinian Christian churches addressed the threat of Christian Zionism with the “Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism.” We mark the anniversary of the declaration by learning about Christian Zionism and learning what you can do so that together we can rise up.
Continue reading about Kumi Action and resources for download Kumi Now
1. Scofield: The Christian Leader with Feet of Clay 2. The Link between Darby and Scofield in the Rise of Dispensationalism 3. Scofield’s Dispensational Hermeneutic: ‘Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth’ 4. Scofield, the Brethren and the Bible Prophecy Conference Movement 5. The Significance of the Scofield Reference Bible 6. Scofield’s Seven Dispensations 7. The Denigration of the Church within the Purposes of God 8. The Elevation of National Israel to a Superior Role over the Church 9. Prophetic Promises of a New Covenant with a Restored National Israel 10. Speculations on Armageddon and the Day of the Lord 11. Conclusions: The Legacy of Scofieldism on Christian Zionism
Like other Western colonial-settler experiments, for over 70 years, Zionists have been systematically erasing the culture and history of indigenous Palestinians to justify their forced removal and the theft of their land. Ilan Pappe, in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, calls this ‘memorocide’ and in The Palestine Nakba, Nur Masalha elaborates,
“The founding myths of Israel have dictated the conceptual removal of Palestinians before, during and after their physical removal in 1948… The de-Arabisation of Palestine, the erasure of Palestinian history and the elimination of the Palestinian’s collective memory by the Israeli state are no less violent than the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 and the destruction of historic Palestine.”
This is why books such as Ancestral Journeys and Western Missions are so vital in recording the memories and eyewitness accounts of Arabs and Palestinians who experienced the arrival of Western colonialists to the Middle East, were co-opted into their wars, witnessed the rise of Zionism and then became refugees in the Palestinian Nakba. Anita Damiani-Shanley’s book will most certainly help perpetuate their heritage and rightful historic claim to Palestine.
Ancestral Journeys is however much more than the story of two families, one Arab and the other Scottish joined in marriage. It traces the influence of missionaries, archaeologists, traders and colonialists competing with each other for a share of the Near East as the Ottoman Empire met its demise. Richly illuminated with family photos, the three main chapters trace the ancestral journeys of Damiani-Shanley’s extended family from Scotland and Lebanon to Iraq and then to Palestine. A fourth chapter traces the role of the Anglican Church in Palestine.
This past year, during the pandemic, Rev. Naim Ateek, put together a collection of his writings including lectures, sermons, largely unpublished but mostly delivered at various universities, colleges, and churches over the years.
A number of them have been organized by topics and published in booklet forms. This is a work in progress. So far, six booklets have been published. They are now available through Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.
I was invited to review one of the booklets, “Cry Out, Do Not Hold Back! Finding the Church’s Prophetic Voice for Palestine”.