4th International Conference

Cancelled Conference – Two Thousand Years of Christian Heritage in the Middle East (2001)

A fourth conference was scheduled for early 2001 but was cancelled due to the political situation in Israel/Palestine following the start of the Second Intifada. Naim Ateek in the Cornerstone (issue 20) Christmas message editorial compared the current situation with Herod’s Massacre of the Children:

The Christmas message for this year takes cognizance of the story of King Herod, the baby Jesus, and the massacre of the innocents. The events of the past three months of protest in Palestine have seen the killing of many children, youths, and even elderly people by the Israeli army. We have witnessed the destruction of many homes and businesses and a siege imposed on three million Palestinians. The state of Israel has been brutally gunning down hundreds of people and injuring thousands whose only crime is their desire for a life of freedom and the independence of their own country from the oppressive occupation.

Against such a backdrop, it was deemed prudent to cancel the Fourth Conference whose theme was to have been “Two thousand years of Christian Heritage”.