Christians in South Africa are raising their voices in opposition to the country’s legal action against Israel and failure to condemn Hamas. South Africa’s ANC-led government has submitted false accusations of genocide to the International Courts of Justice in The Hague, but Christians are refusing to be silent, saying South Africa’s actions could have serious consequences for the nation, and has placed its Jewish citizens at risk by inciting antisemitism as well as eroding the freedom of religion of Christians in South Africa.

In a joint-letter representing more than two dozen Christian organisations in South Africa reads:

“We, the South African Christian leaders, strongly oppose the decision by the South African government to launch the case against Israel and demand it be rescinded immediately.”

“We had hoped and prayed that our government would use its influence as a peacemaker to bring about a meaningful and lasting peace in the Middle East,” the letter continued. “Regrettably, it has elected not to do so and instead has chosen sides. We, as Christians, deplore the loss of innocent lives, be it the Jews, Palestinians, Christians, or any other people, but are strongly opposed to the decision.”

The letter called the decision to take Israel to court “fundamentally flawed” after Hamas entered Israel on October 7 and raped, mutilated burned and murdered innocent Israelis.

“This was a deliberate genocide attempt and is supported by Hamas’ charter calling for the total destruction of Israel,” the Christian leaders wrote. “Israel does not seek to wipe Gaza or the Palestinians off the face of the map. It seeks to defend itself. This is a case of victim blaming by our government.”

Moreover, they said that the decision would go against the best interest of South Africa and could have determinative political and economic consequences, given that the country’s major trading partners said they see the case as an endorsement of Hamas’s terrorism.

They also condemn the government for failing to condemn Hamas’s actions in Gaza.

“Such actions could be interpreted as direct support to Hamas’s tactics, including using civilians as human shields and diverting aid for military purposes and the building of tunnels, rather than humanitarian relief sent to the Palestinian people, which Hamas intercepted,” the letter continued.

In addition, the letter said that the slogan “‘from the river to the sea’ means Israel must become Palestine and Jews must be destroyed. Aside from denying the Jews a right to a homeland in the aftermath of the Holocaust, where does this leave us Christians?”

“Places of worship for Christians in the Holy Land will be destroyed,” the Christian leaders said.

The writers added that South Africa is not a Muslim country but majority-Christian.

“The South African government has prejudiced the interests of its own people to achieve the political and religious objectives of others. The government is also aware that the one-sided approach it has adopted has placed its Jewish citizens at risk by inciting antisemitism as well as eroding the freedom of religion of Christians in South Africa,” the letter read.

Tshego Motaung, head of the Healing of the Nations prayer for Israel movement, published an article on the South African Christian website Gateway News, saying:

“The African National Congress government and their allies’ decision to take Israel to the International Court of Justice has brought us to a place where, like the time of Queen Esther in the Bible, we cannot keep silent. We cannot keep silent when a government that has failed on its domestic mandate wants to rise as a hero in the global political arena.”

“History has recorded over many generations of kings and kingdoms who rose against Israel and the Jewish people, seeking to wipe them out.

“Israel still exists because none of those attempts succeeded,” she concluded. “Perhaps this decision to be an accuser of Israel may just be what is needed to hasten the judgment of God against the ANC government and deliver the people of South Africa from their corruption.”

Motaung told the Jerusalem Post that the Christian community in South Africa “has been standing with Israel for years,” but she said that the recent Israel-Hamas war and rising anti-Israel sentiment have led local Christians to be even more vocal.

“Christians are standing with Israel because we believe in the Bible”