Peace in the Holy Land
This Sunday 13 September begins the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, an opportunity to unite with Christians worldwide in prayerful actions for a just peace in the Holy Land.
Jointly promoted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), this year’s theme is “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility” recognising the fragile situation in Palestine and Israel, heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer encouraged UCA members to hold in prayer the people of Israel and Palestine, who after decades of conflict yearn for the restoration of peace.
“The Uniting Church has long shared a vision of a just peace for this part of the world considered Holy by all the Abrahamic faiths. This week is a reminder about the fragility and importance of this work towards peace,” Dr Palmer said.
“Peace is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We join in prayer and hope with our ecumenical brothers and sisters, and all people of faith, that world leaders will find new resolve to work toward a resolution that brings long-lasting and comprehensive peace.”
In June, Dr Palmer contacted the Australian Government echoing concerns from Church leaders across the world over reported plans by the Government of Israel to annex of parts of the West Bank, a move which was later suspended.
In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Marise Payne, Dr Palmer expressed deep concern that unilateral annexation moves by the State of Israel would vanquish any remaining hope for the success of the peace process.
She urged the Australian Government to join with international counterparts in calling for a peace process that was in line with International Law and UN resolutions on the matter.
The call to “creative solidarity” this week encourages Christians to engage in prayer as well as practical action and advocacy.
The WCC resource has the following suggested actions:
- Hosting a bible study and prayer meeting with your community
- Sharing a meal with members of the Jewish and Muslim faith in your community
- Organising a common prayer event with other religious faiths
- Reaching out to your local Federal Member
- Updating yourself with news from Israel and Palestine, reflecting on current developments and how “creative solidarity among common fragility” might lead to different results. Here’s one report on recent events with some helpful background.
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN) has also encouraged “creative solidarity actions” such as Churches using their noticeboards to share messages of peace for Palestine and Israel.
Some suggestions are:
- We cry for hope for the Holy Land
- We believe in a vision of inclusivity and equality for both Israelis and Palestinians.
- We embrace Christ’s vision to bring love, mercy, compassion and abundant life for all Israelis and Palestinians.
Those engaged in activities are encouraged to share about it on social media with the hashtag #HolyLandPeace
Download the WCC Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel booklet by clicking on the image: