April 20-22 Conference: Christian Advocates Come to DC to Build Support for Middle East Peacemaking
“Calming the Storm: Middle East Peacemaking in a Turbulent Time.” CMEP represents a coalition of 22 U.S. national church and church- related organizations including Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant denominations.
“The Annapolis peace process now underway deserves robust support from the U.S. Congress. The achievement of a two-state peace agreement will be an important step towards durable peace with security for Israel and will help build a positive future for all the people of the Holy Land, including the now rapidly declining Palestinian Christian community,” said Warren Clark, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP).
That will be the message next week in Washington, DC at CMEP’s annual advocacy conference with the theme, “Calming the Storm: Middle East Peacemaking in a Turbulent Time.” CMEP represents a coalition of 22 U.S. national church and church- related organizations including Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant denominations. Church members and clergy from around the country will hear from high level Christian leaders, policy experts and government officials during two days of meetings, culminating in a Congressional Prayer Breakfast for Peace in the Holy Land at the start of a day of advocacy visits with Congressional Representatives, Senators and their staffs.
“We are pleased to host this important gathering,” Clark said. “This is a crucial time for peacemaking in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Next week CMEP advocates will let their elected officials know that American Christians want them to work vigorously towards the peaceful solution that is supported by both Israeli and Palestinian governments and a majority of people on both sides of the conflict.”
Major speakers at the conference will include: Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Shibley Telhami, University of Maryland; Gary Sick, Gulf 2000/Project; Ziad Asali, American Task Force on Palestine; Ori Nir, Americans for Peace Now; B. Todd Deatherage, U.S. State Department Office of Policy Planning; and Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center. Workshops will cover a range of topics such as Evangelical Peacemakers, with Chris Seiple from the Institute for Global Engagement; Palestinian Christians, with Dr. Bernard Sabella ; and Iran-Israel-US relations, with Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council.
The Congressional Prayer Breakfast will feature greetings from Representatives David Price (NC-4), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) and Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), a message from Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and prayers and reflections from Rev. Daniel Coughlin, U.S. House of Representatives Chaplain, Bishop John Chane, Episcopal Diocese of Washington and Archbishop Vicken Aykayzian, Armenian Orthodox Church of America.
The full conference schedule is included below and available online. Some presentations are off the record. For questions or to pre-register, please contact Warren Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-543-1222.