Sabeel November 2024 Conference “Challenging Apartheid and Religious Extremism”

November Conference

Purpose Statement

The Sabeel Liberation Theology Center invites you to our upcoming conference, “Challenging Apartheid and Religious Extremism”, to be held November 17-21 in Bethlehem and online.

A new reality is rising and religious extremism is fanning the flames of intolerance and violence. Gaza lies in rubble with the majority of the ever increasing death toll being children and women. Even the January 6, 2021 riot in Washington, DC, is being reframed as a righteous protest. Numerous religious and theological leaders find themselves grappling with the challenge of responding faithfully and effectively.

The Sabeel conference will challenge religious extremism and supremacism, as well as apartheid through a scriptural, liberationist approach to theology by ecumenical and interfaith collaboration. The plenaries, workshops and visits will promote faith based, non-violent, peace-making initiatives to assist in the achievement of liberation, justice and peace in Palestine-Israel.

Conference and Webinar Principles:

Facilitate Constructive Interfaith Dialogue:

The conference will provide a platform for open and constructive interfaith dialogue specifically focused on addressing religious extremism and apartheid and their impact on justice issues in Palestine and beyond. It will encourage representatives from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities to engage in meaningful discussions, fostering understanding and cooperation.

Promote Human Rights and Justice in Palestine-Israel:

Emphasize the importance of human rights and justice as the means to achieve peace and reconciliation. The conference will aim to raise awareness about the impact of religious extremism on the denial of human rights. Participants will explore strategies to counter extremism while advancing justice and equality.

Challenge Misinterpretations of Religious Texts:

Address the misinterpretation of religious texts that perpetuate religious extremism and apartheid and violations of human rights in Palestine-Israel and beyond. Prominent scholars, theologians, and experts will examine specific instances where religious teachings are manipulated to justify discrimination and violence. This analysis will also promote interpretations that support justice, peace, and the dignity of all. Empower Grassroots Activism and Advocacy: Focus on empowering those who are working on justice issues in Palestine-Israel. The conference will provide a platform for sharing best practices, strategies, and success stories from individuals and organizations engaged in advocacy and activism. Participants will explore ways to mobilize communities, raise awareness, and promote international solidarity in support of human rights and justice.

Strengthen Collaborative Networks:

Encourage collaboration and networking among human rights organizations and activists involved in justice issues with special attention to faith-based activism. The conference will aspire to facilitate the establishment of partnerships and networks that can enhance collective efforts to counter religious extremism, promote human rights, and advocate for justice. Practical steps will be identified to foster ongoing cooperation, knowledge exchange, and joint initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of extremism and advancing human rights. 

For more information email visit@sabeel.org.

Pre-Conference Webinars

Sabeel has organized five webinars, each at 8pm Jerusalem time, from January to May. These webinars, facilitated by distinguished academics and activists, serve as a prelude to the conference by introducing themes and topics that will be explored in depth in November.

Wednesday 31st January: An Introduction to Religious Extremism

This webinar will introduce religious extremism and outline the November conference.

  • Speakers: Naim Ateek, Omar Haramy, Stephen Sizer

View the recording here.

Wednesday 28th February: Zionism and Antisemitism

How the term antisemitism has been weaponised and an examination of the relationship between Zionism, apartheid, and religious extremism in Judaism.

  • Speakers: Hadar Cohen, Anthony Lerman, Thomas Suarez

Wednesday 27th March: Islam and Islamophobia

Define Islamophobia, challenge stereotypes and prejudice toward Muslims, and examine how Islamophobia has been exploited to silence criticism of Israel.

Wednesday 24th April: Christophobia and the Persecution of Christians

A discussion on the persecution of Christians and how Christian Zionism exacerbates tensions for Palestinian Christians.

Wednesday 29th May: A Summary on Religious Extremism

A summary of the series and information about the November conference including the schedule and how to maximize your participation.