John Munayer is a researcher, writer, theologian and interreligious facilitator from Jerusalem. He completed an MSc in International Relations of the Middle East from the University of Edinburgh, an MA in Theology and Religious Studies from the VU University Amsterdam, and a BA in Religion, Politics and Society from King’s College London. Most of his research focuses on Palestinian Theology, the Palestinian Christian community in the Holy Land and interreligious dialogue.
Rev. Andrew F. Bush
Rev. Andrew F. Bush, D. Min., is a pastor, professor, author, and long-time leader in cross-cultural Christian service. He and his wife, Karen, have worked for thirty-five years in the Philippines and Palestine. Presently, he is the director of the Bethlehem Institute for Peace and Justice at Bethlehem Bible College, as well as the pastor of the East Jerusalem International Church. His books include Learning from the Least: Reflections on a Journey in Mission with Palestinian Christians, and Millennials and the Mission of God: A Prophetic Dialogue. He holds post-graduate degrees from the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem and Princeton Theological Seminary.
Angela M. Brown is co-founder of Perfecting Ministries in Sewell, New Jersey where she serves as executive director of Loving Our Cities, a 501c3 community development corporation with a mission to enhance the quality of life where we live, work, serve and worship. A recognized community leader, speaker and author, Angela leverages nearly 20 years of experience in public relations, international affairs, issues management and advocacy to amplify the voice of women, champion causes of the marginalized and oppressed, and foster reconciliation and transformation in distressed communities locally and abroad.
Fueled by a passion to make a difference and inspire others to do the same, Angela is a member of the Rowan University Foundation Board of Directors, US Board of Bethlehem Bible College, Southern New Jersey Chapter of the American Red Cross, Winslow Township Economic Development Council, Urban Affairs Coalition Community & Economic Development Committee where she chairs the Employer-Assisted Housing Program subcommittee, and chaplain of the South Jersey (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and chair of its Women’s Issues committee. She is also past president of the Board of Directors of PHILADANCO, was appointed by Michael A. Nutter to the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Aging and previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Courier Post Diversity Committee, the Multicultural Affairs Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mt. Airy USA Neighborhood Advisory Board, Philadelphia Society for Services to Children and as past chair of the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s 2000 Pepperpot Awards.
In recognition of her achievements, Angela has received the Gloucester County NAACP Gamechangers Award, the Women of Power and Transformation Award, the South Jersey Journal People Making A Difference Award, the Winslow Township Public Service Award, the Philadelphia Business Journal “40 Under 40” Award, the “40 Under 40 Minority Executive Award,” the “Rowan University Person of the Week” award and was selected by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia as a participant in the 2013 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange.
An ordained minister, Angela holds a certificate in biblical studies from Vision International University, a certificate in non-profit management from LaSalle University, attended Hampton University and graduated from Rowan University with a B.A. in Communication where she also obtained a certificate in African American Studies as well as a certificate in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She is currently enrolled at Union Theological Seminary where she’s a candidate in their dual degree program with Columbia University to obtain a MDiv and MSW with a concentration in social justice.
Angela resides in Winslow Township with her husband of 32 years, Pastor Kevin C. Brown, and is the proud mother of their two adult children, Kevin “KJ” Christopher Brown, II and Olivia Simone Brown.
Dr. Manfred W. Kohl
Dr. Kohl was born in Germany during the Second World War. He apprenticed to be a master cabinetmaker. When he was 17 years old he emigrated and began his education in the field of theology. After teaching at the college and university level, being senior pastor at the historic First Congregational Church in Middleboro, MA, and serving with World Vision in Africa and Europe, Dr. Kohl joined the ministry Overseas Council International as VP for overseas ministries. He served in this position for 20 years, ministering to the leaders of more than 150 theological seminaries and theological faculties at universities in the non-western world. Presently Dr. Kohl serves with OCI as Ambassador. During the last decade he has been invited to teach and speak with theological leaders in China (various cities), in the Middle East (Iran region, Turkey, Palestine), Africa (Central African Republic, Republic of South Africa), and in Latin America (Brazil). The focus of OCI is encouraging, supporting, and teaching leaders who in turn teach the next generations of pastors, missionaries, and teachers. Dr. Kohl has published over 100 theological articles, sermons, and books.
He is married to Dr. Barbara Kohl and they have two married sons (Waldemar, the eldest lives in New Hampshire, and Jonathan, the youngest lives in Kobe, Japan). The Kohls live in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac
Munther Isaac is a Palestinian Christian pastor and theologian. He now pastors the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. He is also the academic dean of Bethlehem Bible College, and is the director of the highly acclaimed and influential Christ at the Checkpoint conferences.
Munther is passionate about issues related to the Palestinian theology. He speaks locally and internationally and has published numerous articles on issues related to the theology of the land, Palestinian Christians and Palestinian theology, holistic mission and reconciliation. He is the author of “The Other Side of the Wall”, “From Land to Lands, from Eden to the Renewed Earth”, “An Introduction to Palestinian Theology” (in Arabic), and a commentary on the book of Daniel (in Arabic). He is also involved in many reconciliation and interfaith forums. He is also a Kairos Palestine board member.
Munther originally studied civil engineering in Birzeit University in Palestine. He then obtained a Master in Biblical Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary and then a PhD from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.
Munther is married to Rudaina – an architect, and together they have two boys: Karam (8) and Zaid (6).
Yousef AlKhouri is a Christian Arab Palestinian, a theologian, an activist, and a husband. He is a lecturer of Biblical Studies at Bethlehem Bible College, where he got his BA in Biblical Studies. He holds M.Div. in Missions from Nyack’s Christian College, New York, and he is developing his doctoral research at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research focuses on contemporary Palestinian contextual biblical interpretation. AlKhouri is the coordinator Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, and a member of several local and international initiatives, such as Global Kairos for Justice, and the Academic Alliance for Interreligious Dialogue. He contributed a several books in English and Arabic such as Majority World Theologies (2018), Refugee Diaspora (2018), and most recently, Decolonizing Ecotheology: Indigenous and Subaltern Challenges (2021), and Towards Renewed Minds, in Arabic (2021). Yousef is married to number one fan, Merna, who also endures his constant talk on theology and politics.
Rev. Frank Chikane
Rev. Frank Chikane is an Emeritus Pastor of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM) and is currently the Moderator of the Churches Commission on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC); the Co-Convener of the African and African Diaspora (ADD) Conference together with Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith; and one of the leaders of the Defend our Democracy Campaign in the light of the threat to the constitutional democracy in South Africa because of the State Capture phenomenon.
He was the International President of his Church for 23 years (1996-2019) and a Pastor of the AFM of SA in Naledi, Soweto. He served as the Vice-President of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) from 2014-2021, and earlier as the General Secretary of the SACC (1987-1994).
On the political front and as part of the liberation movement he served as the the Vice President of the Soweto Civic Association and Vice President of the United Democratric Front (UDF) and was detained and tortured many times between 1977 and 1985. This included Preventative Detention (Administrative detention). He was charged twice, incuding charges for high treason, but was acquited. He played an important role in the transition from Apartheid to a Democratic South Africa as General Secretary of the SACC (1987-1994) and as a Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which managed the first democratic elections in 1994.
In the new democratic South Africa he served as a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC), 1997-2007; as a Special Advisor to Deputy President Thabo Mbeki; and later as the Director-General in his Office and as Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet during the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. He then became Director-General and Secretary of the Cabinet during the Presidencies of Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe. He participated in peacemaking and conflict resolution processes in a number of countries on the African continent and in efforts to facilitate talks between Israelis and Palestinians who were committed to find a lasting and just peace between them.
On the African continent and as part of the team of President Mbeki he participated in the development of the vision of the African Renaissance (Renewal) and the linkages between the African continent and the African Diaspora; in the development of the New Partnership of for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
Visits to Palestine/Israel
He visited Palestine/Israel at least twice: First in 1988 as General Secretary of the SACC. He insisted then that he meets both sides of the conflict so he could make up his mind. He was hosted for two days by the Israeli Goverment and two days by the Palestinian leadership. In his debriefings he expressed shock about what he saw and experienced in comparison to his experirnce in apartheid South Africa. He also visited in relation to Empowered21 in 2015.
As a Moderator of the CCIA (Churches Commission on International Affairs) he has been part of the efforts to deal with the conflicts & wars in the Middle East (Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Syria, etc.), the Korean Peninsula (North Korea & South Korea), Colombia, USA (Racism & in relation to the other conflicts), on the African continent (DRC, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, etc.), the Pacific region (nuclear test areas, climate justice, etc.), and NATO/Ukraine/Russia.
Matthew Vega is a PhD Candidate and Research fellow at the University of Chicago, where he studies theology, race, and class. He has published chapters in Theology for Fortress Academic and Lexington Books as well as for IVP Press. Matt frequently speaks and writes on racial justice, covering a wide range of topics from prisons, police, economics. Matt has been an outspoken supporter and organizer for justice in Palestine. In addition to visiting the region multiple times, he has organized events in Chicago and coordinated multiple trips to Bethlehem for college students interested in peace and justice in the region. In the summer of 2020, Matt Vega and Willie Jennings were in conversation with Palestinian theologians to compare similarities and differences related to Palestinian and Black theologies. In addition to writing his dissertation, Matt is currently co-authoring a chapter on the multiple legacies of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lamma is a Palestinian Christian from Nazareth. She graduated from the University of Haifa with a B.A. in psychology, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Social Policy at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. She serves with her home church’s young adult ministry in Nazareth as well as in Christ at the Checkpoint Young Adults group. She has written on the intersections of faith, politics and social issues in various outlets.
Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon is the executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace and an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). Cannon formerly served as the senior director of Advocacy and Outreach for World Vision U.S. on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC; as a consultant to the Middle East for child advocacy issues for Compassion International in Jerusalem; as the executive pastor of Hillside Covenant Church located in Walnut Creek, California; and as director of development and transformation for extension ministries at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois. Cannon holds an MDiv from North Park Theological Seminary, an MBA from North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management, and an MA in bioethics from Trinity International University. She received her first doctorate in American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies at the University of California (Davis) focusing on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine and her second doctorate in Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Northern Theological Seminary. She is the author of several books including the award-winning Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World and editor of A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Christianity Today, Leadership Magazine, The Christian Post, Jerusalem Post, EU Parliament Magazine, Huffington Post, and other international media outlets
Marah Sarji is a Christian Palestinian, born and raised in Nazareth. On a mission to mobilize Palestinian youth, Marah is active in various movements to encourage critical thinking and active work towards envisioning a just future in the land. She is interested in bringing her faith and passion for justice together through her career, with an emphasis on the experiences of women in Palestine. Currently, Marah is a graduate student of Anthropology at Tel Aviv University and is writing about Palestinian theology and the church
Based in Jerusalem, Daniel is the Executive Director of Musalaha, an organization that teaches, facilitates and trains reconciliation mainly between Israelis and Palestinians from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. Prior to Daniel’s work with Musalaha, Daniel co-founded Lighthouse Relief on Lesvos Island, a humanitarian start-up responding to the influx of refugees in Greece. He later continued to work with the Danish Refugee Council and Nonviolent Peaceforce, responding to the humanitarian crisis’ in Greece and Iraq. Daniel holds an MBA with Distinction from Durham University Business School, UK. In addition, he graduated with honors from the highly selective 3-year Global Scholars Program at American University in Washington D.C., focusing on International Relations and Religious Studies.
Tony Deik is a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem. For the last ten years, he has lived and ministered in different contexts, including the Philippines, Hong Kong, England, Palestine, and Bolivia. Tony is currently a residential researcher at Tyndale House, Cambridge, where he is working on his PhD research in the New Testament. He is also a lecturer in biblical studies at Bethlehem Bible College (online), and a Networking Team member of the International Fellowship of Mission as Transformation. Previously, Tony directed the online education program at Bethlehem Bible College, served with Operation Mobilization onboard MV Logos Hope, and got involved in the ministry of Centro de Capacitación Misionera in La Paz, Bolivia; he also worked on large-scale research projects for Birzeit University and the Palestinian government. Tony’s interest revolves around the Scriptures, their ancient meaning, and their modern relevance especially in subaltern contexts. He is married to Sara, a Bolivian, and they are the proud parents of Nour Sofia.
Rev. Moss Ntlha
Rev. Moss Ntlha is the general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa. He has a passion for justice, reconciliation and transformation in the South African society. He is involved in initiatives to that end both in the Church and in Civil Society. Moss has engaged in public policy advocacy both in South Africa and internationally, dealing with matters of faith and socio political justice.
His passion is to see the gospel impact lives at a personal and public policy levels. To that end, he is a church planter, disciple maker and activist for justice. A keen student of the evangelical movement, and holds degrees in theology (Mth) and natural Science (BSC) .
He is married to Khumo and they are blessed with two children.
Dr. Yara Barbara
Dr. Yara Barbara, 31 years old.
Grew up in a Christian home in Nazareth.
Graduated from the Baptist school.
Studied medicine in Chisinau Moldova.
A last-year-resident of Family medicine, currently working at Clalit Health Services, North district.
I serve as a member of the graduate committee of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Israel.
Active among young Christians in my community as we navigate our true identity in the midst of our complex reality.
Shireen Awwad Hilal
Shireen Awwad Hilal is a Palestinian Christian working for peace. She is Director of the Community Outreach at Bethlehem Bible College and has a passion to work with different local organizations towards peacebuilding and also creating a better future for the Palestinians in the Land rather than leaving the country to seek a future outside Palestine.
As part of her work, she desires to see women leaders in the area who are educated and trained toward leadership, reconciliation, nonviolence, rights, gender equality and other issues that are essential in daily life, especially in Palestine. Most importantly she sees the Lord’s Guidance in all her work or initiatives.
Shireen holds a BA English degree in Literature minor in Translation from Bethlehem University In 1999. An MA degree in Educational Administration from Texas A & M University, USA in 2002 and an MBA from Tel Aviv University in 2014. She and her very supportive husband “Ibrahim” and has 4 children – Miron14, Marcel 12, Maria 9 and Rayan 4.
Rev. Dr. Fadi Diab
Rev. Dr. Fadi Diab is the founder and director of the EIECP. He is the rector of St. Andrew and St. Peter’s Anglican/Episcopal parishes in Ramallah and Birzeit and chaplain to the five episcopal institutions in Ramallah and Birzeit. Rev. Diab also serves as the Supreme Judge of the Episcopal ecclesiastical court in Jerusalem. He is one of Kairos Palestine’s authors and continues to serve on the KP board.
Rev. Diab holds a BA in Theology, a Master’s in Sacred Theology, a Master’s in Theological Studies, and a Doctorate of Ministry from Virginia Theological Seminary. Alongside his pastoral responsibilities, Rev. Diab’s research interests include liberation theologies, colonial/post-colonial criticism, imperial criticism as well as ecology and interreligious engagement.
Rev. Diab is married to Ruba Gammoh and they have two children, Philippe and Andrew.
Abeer Shehadeh has her master’s degree in Diplomacy Studies and International Relations and currently works in a nonprofit organization in project management and resource development. Abeer is also active in her community, working towards social justice, and is an active member of the Christ at the Checkpoint Young Adults group. She mostly enjoys reading, hiking, and travel photography.
Mercy Akin is the Relationship Manager for Network of Evangelicals for the Middle East (NEME) where she engages evangelical leaders in learning more about the challenges that Christians and others face in the Holy Land and across the region. In 2021, she and Bishara Awad released a memoir about his life: “Yet in the Dark Streets Shining; a Palestinian Story of Hope and Resilience in the Holy Land.” She spent several years in Palestine and Israel, volunteering at Bethlehem Bible College, and is currently based in Flagstaff, Arizona. She holds a B.A. in English from Northern Arizona University and is working on a Master of Arts in Theology/Culture/Peacemaking from Saint Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada.
Rifat Kassis has over 35 years of experience working in Middle East, Northern Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe. He founded the Palestinian section of the global child rights movement, Defense for Children International (DCI) and was elected International President of the movement for two terms. He was selected to be the State of Palestine candidate for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Furthermore, he worked in Geneva as director of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Program (EAPPI). He was the driving force and one of the co-authors of Kairos Palestine document and became the General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine Group since its inception. He published two books “Palestine: A Bleeding Wound in the World’s Conscience” and “Kairos for Palestine”. In addition, he has contributed to 16 different books in different languages.
Born in Nazareth in 1965, he lived as a child in Jerusalem, Oxford, and Nazareth. After he graduated from Nazareth Baptist School, Botrus completed a law degree in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1991) then was admitted to the Israeli Bar Association (1993) and practiced Law in Haifa and Nazareth. In 2004 he was invited to lead Nazareth Baptist School as the General Director- a position he is still holding. In 2009 Botrus completed an MBA from Haifa University and later completed a teaching certificate in Civics from the Open University (2018).
Botrus has been active in leadership positions in church and para-church organizations and held various positions including Chairman of The Convention of Evangelical Churches in Israel, Secretary and Chairman of the Alliance of Evangelical Conventions in Jordan and the Holy land, Vice Chairman of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel, member of the Executive Committee for Christian Schools in Israel, Deputy Chairman of “Nazareth Village” board, Member of Global Council of Advocates International, Co-Chairman of the Lausanne Initiative for Reconciliation Israel-Palestine, Chairman of Students committee in the Fellowship of Christian Students in Israel, Board member of Musalaha, Founding member and elder in the Local Baptist Church-Nazareth, co-chair and contributor of the tri-lingual web site comeandsee.com, Co-Founder of Cana Wedding Chapel in Cana of Galilee and others.
Botrus has also been involved in giving lectures in churches, universities, and conferences in Israel, in numerous states in the USA, Canada, different European countries, Jordan, Egypt, and Taiwan on matters of faith and life in the Middle East. He has also written extensively in Arabic, Hebrew, and English and published in Christianity Today, Haaretz, and others as well as published few books including “When Your Neighbor is the Savior” (Hope Publishing house 2011) and “Looking from the Precipice” (Paraclete Press 2021) as well as co-edited a book in Arabic with Dr. Munther Isaac “Towards a Renewed Mind- Intellectual Evangelical contributions in the Palestinian context” (2021)
Botrus and his wife, A’bir, have two grown children and a teenager. They live in Nazareth.