Hope at the Cape of Good Hope

ICEJ holds International Leadership Conference in South Africa

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15 Jul 2016
Hope at the Cape of Good Hope
In May, ICEJ’s international leaders gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, for the annual ICEJ Leadership Conference. More than 70 delegates from 30 countries joined together to strategize and plan ICEJ activities in the coming year. 
The reason delegates traveled all the way to the Cape, however, was that South Africa has become a main hub for theological criticism against Israel. Due to their own apartheid history, many African leaders view Israel today as a modern day apartheid state and thus find no reason to support Israel. Replacement theology is being taught from many pulpits in South Africa, and from there has spread across the African continent. 
Therefore, ICEJ leaders visited several cities prior to our own strategy meetings in order to bring a new and biblical view of Israel to the churches. African continental Director Mosy Madugba, International Director Juha Ketola and his wife, Kati, and ICEJ-SA Directors, Luba and Ncedi Mayekiso spoke in churches in White River, Pretoria, Durban, East London, Soweto and Boksburg. It was the first time the ICEJ could hold meetings in these places which were central in the uprising that caused the fall of the Apartheid regime some 20 years ago.  
The ICEJ and local leaders hosted an event in Durban which focused on repentance for the infamous 2001 UN Durban Conference on Racism. The UN Resolution from that conference equaled Zionism with racism, and opened the door to labeling Israel an Apartheid state. Representatives of the local evangelical community repented on behalf of the city of Durban, the nation of South Africa and of the church. 
The week concluded with “My Brother´s Keeper,” an open conference with more than 1,000 attendees. At the conference, Israel’s Ambassador Arthur Lenk brought with him a video greeting from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ICEJ delegates and local attendees. A highlight of this event was the release of ICEJ’s “Cape Town Declaration,” which affirmed that Israel today is the most democratic and free country in the Middle East. "The Apartheid regime in South Africa was uniquely cruel and immoral in that it disenfranchised and oppressed the majority of its own citizens based on race. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a completely different situation, essentially involving a dispute between two peoples claiming the same lands," the declaration states. In addition the Cape Town Declaration also highlighted the eternal covenant faithfulness of God with Israel and the church. "Whether in education, business health or politics, all the sectors of Israeli life are open to all its citizens irrespective of their ethnic or religious background. It is important for the African church to understand that and to discover their prophetic role at the side of the state of Israel," declared Dr. Jürgen Bühler at the press conference.
Our South African leadership viewed the conference as a complete success. "It is an historic moment for us in South Africa to speak the truth about Israel and reject the false accusation of Israel being an Apartheid state," said Luba Mayekiso. “It was a conference that gave truth and hope to the churches in South Africa,” he said.  
Please keep our work in South Africa in your prayers and pray in particular for our leaders, Luba and Ncedi Mayekiso.
The Cape Town Declaration may be downloaded from the ICEJ website: www.icej.org/CapeTownDeclaration


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