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Reconciliation Walk

Tre Sheppard helped me make this video in 1995.  He did a great job of putting it together and I am grateful to the people at ywam.tv for digitizing it recently.  It is still a relevant subject for a few reasons.

Tre Sheppard helped me make this video in 1995.  He did a great job of putting it together and I am grateful to the people at ywam.tv for digitizing it recently.  It is still a relevant subject for a few reasons.

It is very important that Christians in the western nations should understand how many Muslims, and Jews, see Christianity.  There are reasons for their feelings of enmity and we should humbly acknowledge that.  As everyone knows, history shapes the present and if we do not make efforts to address historical sins, there is little hope that the consequences will fade.  This video is a brief summary of the events of the first Crusade and their impact on Muslims, Jews and Eastern Christians—all of whom were victims of religiously inspired violence under the banner of the Cross of Jesus.

The following year, hundreds of Christians from Western nations journeyed to Turkey to convey a message of apology face-to-face. That initiative continued for over three years, through Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the West Bank.  It culminated in Jerusalem on July 15, 1999, exactly 900 years after the Crusaders breached the walls of Jerusalem and slaughtered all its citizens.  In the context of the twisted understanding of the Roman Church at the time, their actions were thought to be “evangelism”.

Let us walk in humility!

Defusing the bitter legacy of the Crusades. Lynn Green retraces the history of the first Crusade and proposes an appropriate Christian response for today. The Reconciliation Walk was an independent initiative led by Lynn Green, an American who has been living in England for 25 years.

About 3,000 walkers participated over the 3-year period, with people coming and going in small groups, from many different denominations and nations. It began in the spring of 1996, as teams of walkers entered Cologne, Germany, where the Crusades were launched in March-April 1096, led by Peter the Hermit.

The 2,000-mile three-year walk across Europe and through the Balkans, Turkey, and Syria ended in Jerusalem on July 15, 1999, the nine-hundredth anniversary of a Crusade massacre of Jews and Arabs. Recorded in 1996, by Procla-Media, and captured from VHS in 2019.

resource: UofN Legacy

7 comments on “Reconciliation Walk

  1. Thank you Lynn – need more reconciliation. Rebecca is in Palestine this week so it was quite significant watching this. Bless you

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  2. Pyry Puurunen

    Would you not say that the crusades were a natural response (excluding the 4th) against Muslim expansion, during which regrettable atrocities were commited. Is not Spain today in a much better position than it would have been without the Reconquista?

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    • Yes, but the Church had become a powerful institution and called the Crusades in the name of Jesus and under the banner of the cross. Those developments presented an upside-down and inside-out Gospel. In the name of the One who said, “I say to you, love your enemies!”, the institution that called itself The Church urged the killing of enemies. The Church is never meant to wield coercive power, let alone lethal force. The authority of the Church is limited to peaceful conflict resolution and its greatest power is to recognize that a fractious person who will not relent has excluded themselves from fellowship with other believers. (Matt. 18)

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      • Pyry Puurunen

        I agree that the church should not have such power (Reconquista again an interesting parallel, being primarily a state driven action), but is this apology not counterintuitive in a way? Muslims have a perception of being wronged by the west, both correctly and incorrectly, and an apology for the crusades might feed into that narrative. The crusades were initiated by a party who did not have the right and the participants often did not conduct themselves as they should, but as military campaign the crusades were justified.

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      • Yes, it is counter-intuitive. But for serious followers of Jesus (is there another kind?) it is self-evident that an apology is required. In His name hundreds of thousands of our forefathers slaughtered people who were a threat to them, instead of loving their enemies. We can’t hope to represent Jesus until they know that we know the Crusades were a misrepresentation of Jesus.

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  3. Pyry Puurunen

    I can’t disagree with that. But would you think differently if the crusades were not initiated by the church and justified in the name of Christ? What do you think about the reconquest of Spain that I mentioned? Granted exiling muslims went too far. What should have been done instead? Areas that were successfully taken were majority Christian until present day, while in the lands in Muslim hands the majority has turned into minority.

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  4. There are simply too many unanswered and unanswerable questions arising from your series of hypothetical questions. We can only deal with what actually happened.

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