The 6th International Young Adult Conference 2011

Christianity in the East, Islam in the West:
Prophetic Voices from Palestine and Israel

Every year Sabeel holds an international young adult conference that brings together young Christians from around the world to be with us and engage with people of this land and learn about the realities of life under occupation. This conference continues to be a truly effective example of grass-roots education and a tool for developing Christian fellowship. It also provides participants a first-hand experience with the issues at the heart of the conflict and allows them the chance to reflect with one another in organized debriefing sessions and bible studies.

The theme for this year is ‘Christianity in the East, Islam in the West: Prophetic Voices from Palestine and Israel.’ We see the situation here in Israel and the West Bank as providing a useful lens for understanding the differences and misconceptions that plague both East and West. Today, Palestinian Christians have a common bond with Christians of the West through a shared faith and extensive contact facilitated by the nature of global churches and faith-based organizations. But culturally and liturgically the Christians of the Holy Land also have much in common with Muslims, and when in the West often feel at home amongst Muslims from the region because of deep cultural ties.

The relationship that Palestinian Christians have with the world at large is a unique one that can help our participants to challenge each other, grow together in the understanding of different cultures and religions and then carry back that understanding to their own communities.

The program for the conference will continue to focus on issues of justice and peace as we visit refugee camps, various cities and villages in both Israel and the West Bank, depopulated villages and locations, holy sites and local churches. In addition, we will participate in advocacy tours and hold workshops with speakers on various subjects related to the political, economic, and social situation here.

The theme will provide the undercurrent during all of these trips and encounters. It is our hope that by the final dinner our participants will not only have a good understanding of the obstacles and possibilities for peace and justice, but also an expanded sense of responsibility and
awareness for religious and cultural considerations and their impact on the ministry of peace in general.

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