CMEP Shares in Christian, Interfaith Leaders Call for Peace
Churches for Middle East peace and the Council of Religious Leaders in the Holy Land
This week, the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (CRIHL) came to Washington, DC to promote the role of interfaith leaders in the peace process. The Council is a unique group that includes the highest official religious authorities in the Holy Land represent the three main Abrahamic faiths. The delegation participated in several high-level administration meetings, public panels and even took the time to sit down for lunch with CMEP.
Amid their busy schedule, the two Christian leaders on the trip, Latin Patriarch of the Holy Land and Jordan Fouad Twal and Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land Munib Younan sat down with CMEP Executive Director Warren Clark to talk about their experiences in the Holy Land and what people in the United States can do.
“It is painful for us, both pastors, in the Holy Land to see a whole generation of Christians born under occupation and our conflict, “Patriarch Twal said during the interview.
Bishop Younan offered several distinct ways that U.S. based Christians can help. He said “Education in the Middle East is the only transformative power,” and urged people to support community based education and help strengthen Christian institutions in the Holy Land. Watch the full interview on CMEP’s YouTube channel.
CRIHL is comprised of members of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the heads of the local Churches in the Holy Land, Palestinian Authority Minister of Islamic Waqf and the Islamic Sharia Courts of the PA. During their trip, the delegation highlighted the key role that religious leaders can play in fostering substantive dialogue and promote a culture of peace. (Read more about the CRIHL’s message in the United States.)
At a later event, Council member and Director General of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Oded Wiener told an audience at Georgetown University, “We at the council are functioning together with our differences but with a deep degree of friendship and mutual respect in order to promote the sort of moderation which will permit the political negotiators to function.”
The call for peace from faith leaders in the Holy Land was echoed by an urgent appeal for peace by interreligious leaders in the United States. The National Interreligious Leadership Initiative, a group of U.S. based Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders issued a statement on Thursday declaring that, “Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace is more urgent than ever,” and cautioning current presidential candidates to, “avoid rhetoric that harms chances for a two-state peace agreement.