Christians Call for Holy Land Peace Priority: Sign Letter to President-Elect Obama
As we await the coming of Christ into our lives and our world during this Advent season, we renew our hopes for the day when all God’s children can live at peace in the land called Holy.
With the Obama Administration, there is a new opportunity for the United States to help achieve a just and lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Join Global Ministries and other major American Christian leaders – Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant – in sending a letter to President-elect Obama urging him to make achievement of Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during his first year in office.
Broad Coalition of Christian Leaders Call on Obama To Make Israel-Palestinians Peace an Immediate Priority
A broad spectrum of American Christian leaders – from Catholic and Orthodox traditions to mainline Protestant, Evangelical and historic African American churches and institutions – have appealed to President-elect Barack Obama to make Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during his first year in office.
In a December 1 letter sent to President-elect Obama as well as key members of his transition team and newly unveiled national security team, the leaders urged the incoming Obama Administration to “provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement” that will establish a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.
The letter notes that a durable peace agreement will help “strengthen U.S. security and improve stability and relationships through the Middle East.” Without active U.S. engagement, the leaders warned that “political inertia and perpetuation of the unbearable status quo will make achievement of a two-state solution increasingly difficult.” The leaders are also concerned about the “negative impact a further delay will have on the Christian community in the Holy Land, whose numbers continue to decline.”
Sending the letter during Advent, a season of hope and expectation in the Christian calendar, the leaders expressed their belief that “Jerusalem – home to two peoples and three religions – has the potential to become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for people across the region and the world.”
The leaders called on all Christians to support “vigorous U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure Middle East peace”. The letter is being followed by a broad grassroots campaign aimed at mobilizing American Christian church members nationwide. The final letter signed by both Christian leaders and congregants will be delivered to President Obama during the time of inauguration.
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said today, “This letter speaks to the need for the incoming Obama administration to help bring about a peace agreement quickly between Israelis and Palestinians. The opportunity for achieving a two- state solution is narrowing and must be seized now. Further delays will make reaching an agreement much harder and undermine longterm security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
Bishop Howard Hubbard, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “This conflict continues to undermine the social, economic and spiritual fabric of the lives of all persons in the region, including Christians who have lived in the Holy Land since the earliest days of our faith. With majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians supporting a durable peace, it is incumbent on their political leaders and our own to do everything possible to help bring about a just peace.”
Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland Church said, “Our faith calls on us to work and pray for peace. It’s not about taking one side over the other, it’s about seeking justice for both parties. The Presidentelect can be assured that there are many American Christians who stand ready to support his efforts when it comes to seeking a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
The full text of the letter and list of signers is available at: http://www.cmep.org/ecumenical-letter.pdf
Click here to sign the Ecumenical Christian Letter to President-elect Obama
Join Global Ministries and other major American Christian leaders – Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant – in sending a letter to President-elect Obama urging him to make achievement of Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during his first year in office. Click here to sign the Ecumenical Christian Letter to President-elect Obama
On the campaign trail, Obama promised to work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians from the beginning of his Administration, but he faces many competing priorities and pressing global challenges. He needs to hear from American Christians now that Holy Land peace cannot be postponed and that we will support his diplomatic leadership.
Sign the ecumenical letter, along with Christians around the country, and help ensure that Obama fulfills his campaign promise to engage in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking as soon as he takes office.
The work for a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace will not be easy, but the risk of inaction is far greater. Without active U.S. engagement, achievement of a two-state solution will become even more difficult. A further delay of peace will also mean continued emigration of the Christian community in the Holy Land.
Urge President-elect Obama to provide diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement that establishes a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. The opportunity for achieving a two-state solution – supported by majorities of Israelis and Palestinians as the best way to end this tragic conflict – is narrowing and must be seized.
Especially at this time of year, when we anticipate the miracle of Christmas, we know that nothing is impossible with God. Jerusalem can become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for the region and the world.
The ecumenical Christian letter to President-elect Obama is included in full below. To view the full list of signers and add your name to the letter, click here http://www.cmep.org/letter
We also hope you will share the letter with your friends, family and church community. Click here http://www.cmep.org/letter/resources for church organizing resources and a tell-a-friend feature to help spread the word.
This ecumenical Holy Land peace letter campaign is being coordinated by the Churches for Middle East Peace coalition, of which Global Ministries is a member.
The deadline for signatures is January 16, 2009. The letter signed by national Christian leaders was sent to the Obama transition team Dec. 1. The final letter signed by leaders and church members will be delivered to President Obama during the time of inauguration.
Full Text of Ecumenical Christian Letter on Holy Land Peace
Link to Letter and Signers in PDF format
Dear President-elect Obama:
As Christians of the Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, we are united by a Biblical call to be peacemakers and a commitment to the two peoples of the Holy Land who yearn for a just peace. As Americans, we urge you, Mr. President, to make achievement of Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during your first year in office.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has gone on too long. It has caused untold suffering for both sides, created economic hardships, and provided a rallying cry for extremists.
As people of faith and hope, we believe peace is possible. Majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians continue to support a negotiated solution based on two secure and sovereign states as the best way to end this tragic conflict.
In order to achieve a durable peace, your Administration must provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement. Building on past discussions, we ask you to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make historic compromises necessary for peace.
Your commitment to working for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel can help strengthen U.S. security and improve stability and relationships throughout the Middle East. We believe that Jerusalem – home to two peoples and three religions – has the potential to become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for people across the region and the world.
We know the work for a just peace will not be easy. It will require great courage and resolve, but the risk of inaction is even greater. Without active U.S. engagement, political inertia and perpetuation of the unbearable status quo will make achievement of a two-state solution increasingly difficult. Moreover, we are concerned about the negative impact a further delay will have on the Christian community in the Holy Land, whose numbers continue to decline.
We call on all Christians and people of goodwill to join us in praying for the peace of Jerusalem and in supporting vigorous U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure Middle East peace. Mr. President, as you take up the many challenges facing the United States and the global community, we urge you to work for a better future for all the children of Abraham in the land that is holy to us all.