“God has broken down the dividing walls”
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities and civil society organizations around the world to join together in 2015 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel.
Congregations, individuals and groups concerned for justice are called to act to achieve justice through demonstrating commitment to create a common international public witness and to do so through nonviolence and dialogue. The theme of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel (WWPPI) in 2015 is ““God has broken down the dividing Walls”. The hashtag for our campaigns during the week is: “#WallWillFall”. The dates for the commemoration are 20 to 26 September 2015.
Since the beginning of the construction of the illegal separation wall in 2002, it has been confronted with international civil society efforts to have it dismantled. These efforts are one segment of supporting the continued aspiration of the Palestinian people for liberation, including the struggle to reclaim their history, free their prisoners and achieve the return of Palestinian refugees to ensure a just and safe future for generations to come. They refuse to abandon their claims to justice and to an end to being further dispossessed.
On Sunday 20th September, the opening day of the week, churches around the world will be invited to worship and pray using a special liturgy developed by Palestinian Christians. In keeping with the intent of the week to “Pray, Educate, Advocate”, a liturgy has been prepared to assist congregations, community groups and individuals to sponsor meetings, protest, study groups, videos, exhibitions, campaigns and other innovative ways to observe the week. An e-resource prepared by EAPPI-UK is now available on the WWPPI website along with the liturgy and the Jerusalem Prayer. (Please click here for more information).
This year, the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) will work through the Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and Kairos Palestine in Palestine and around the world to develop a formidable coalition to campaign against the illegal Separation Wall. The intent is to mobilize human rights-justice movements, social movements, student movements and inter-faith coalitions in Palestine and Palestine solidarity groups worldwide. As participants in World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, we are called to send out a loud and clear signal to policy-makers, community groups and parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that ends the illegal occupation and secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.
The message of the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem summons us: “Inspire us to not be content with mere words; but to engage in acts of costly solidarity. Inspire us to be instruments of your peace, the workers of your will.” For churches this is an especially important opportunity to the Amman Call, which concludes with the critical plea: “Enough is enough. No more words without deeds. It is time for action.”
This moment, this Kairos, is the time for action. It is time to end Israel’s illegal occupation of territory; it is time for the political rights of the Palestinian people to be recognized and implemented; it is time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace for the benefit of all peoples in the region; it is time to let the healing begin. Dismantling the Wall will be a first step.