Religion in Society

Christian Chief Equates Israeli Occupation With Holocaust

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The departing chief of the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) slammed Israel's "sin against God" in his August 26 good-bye to the world's largest ecumenical group.

"Occupation along with the concomitant humiliation of a whole people for over six decades constitutes not just economic and political crimes but, like anti-Semitism, it is a sin against God," declared Kenyan Methodist minister Samuel Kobia, during his farewell to the WCC's governing central committee.

At its founding after World War II, the WCC robustly denounced anti-Semitism as a "sin against God." Evidently equating the Holocaust on some level with the Israeli presence in the West Bank, Kobia asked his international church audience: "Are we ready to say that occupation is also a sin against God?" The WCC has 349 member denominations, including over 30 Protestant and Orthodox communions in the U.S.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

"Most of Kobia's farewell speech, which also obsessed over global warming and the collapse of 'turbo-capitalism,' could very easily have been delivered by Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or any number of Third World tyrants who deflect from their own failures by demonizing Israel and the U.S.

"Revealingly, Kobia's good-bye, so verbose about Israeli 'crimes,' said nothing about the Christian villages recently destroyed in Pakistan, about the ongoing persecution of Christians across the Islamic world, or the vulnerability of Christians living in China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. For the WCC, difficulties for Christians are only distressing if Israel and the U.S. are the villains.

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"Preferring mainly to echo the bland bromides of European left-wing secularists, the WCC is primarily the voice of declining Western left-wing Protestantism. It does NOT speak for robust, global Christianity."