Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Methodist Federation for Social Action Develops Tips for Responsible Tourism in the Holy Land

Monday, July 1st, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – July 1, 2013 – The Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) has released a document intended to provide tips for responsible tourism for pilgrims to holy sites in Israel and Palestine. Recognizing that what many people call the Holy Land is a living context where people are struggling amidst conflict for human dignity and civil rights, MFSA developed a two-page guide to stimulate discussion and ethical action for groups planning pilgrimages to the Middle East. The guidelines can be found at or by clicking here.

Created by MFSA’s Associate for Movement Building, John Daniel (JD) Gore, the guide is meant to recognize that meaningful contact with all people living in the region is a necessity for understanding the context of Jesus’ ministry and the ministry of the Church in this region today. “Sometimes tour companies only give one perspective of the contemporary experience of living in this region,” stated Gore. “These tips give pilgrims an opportunity to think about how their tourism can affect a broader discussion of economic impact and peacebuilding.” Gore serves MFSA through the Mission Intern program of the General Board of Global Ministries. Prior to MFSA, Gore served at Wi’am, a Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center, in Bethlehem. “Key to engaging in responsible tourism is working with the Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem,” stated Gore.

In 2012, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church decided not to support divestment of church funds from corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Instead, General Conference supported positive investment in Palestine. While MFSA continues to support divestment, as called for by Palestinian Christians in the Kairos document, responsible tourism will help pilgrims develop a deeper understanding of the contemporary context and assist United Methodists in living out the mandate of General Conference to engage in positive investment.

“It is our hope that congregations and annual (regional) conferences seeking to walk in the footsteps of Christ, or engage in Volunteer in Mission work, might use this document as a reference for planning their trips and bringing the work of General Conference to fruition,” stated Chett Pritchett, MFSA’s Interim Executive Director.

Since 1907, the Methodist Federation for Social Action has worked to mobilize, lead, and sustain a progressive movement, energizing people to be agents of God’s justice, peace, and reconciliation. As an independent, faith-based organization, MFSA leads both Church and society on issues of peace, poverty, people’s rights, progressive issues, and justice within The United Methodist Church.


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