Since 1996, evangelicals from the United States and Europe have participated in the Reconciliation Walk to the Middle East in order to apologize face to face to local Muslims and Christians for the atrocities committed by Western Crusaders 900 years ago. As the Reconciliation Walk enters Israel in April, hopes are that it will have an impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We do not deal with politics, but the Christ-centered principles of reconciliation have proven to be spiritually very powerful," says international director Lynn Green, referring to the overwhelmingly positive response in Turkey and Lebanon since the walk began (CT, Oct. 7, 1996, p. 90). "I am deeply convinced that this will be beneficial to both Israelis and Palestinians."
Representatives of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and of the Jewish, Muslim, and Eastern Orthodox faith communities will attend the final event of the Reconciliation Walk in Jerusalem on July 15, the nine-hundredth anniversary of the Crusader massacre of both Jews and Arabs.
"The chief rabbinates have agreed to receive the apology at the Western Wall, and the grand mufti will meet with us near the El Aqsa mosque," says Matthew Hand, Middle East director of the Reconciliation Walk. "This is more than we expected."
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