Call for Resumption of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks, and Appeal for Syria
Council Press Release No. 10/2012 | BOGOTÁ, Colombia/GENEVA, 22 June 2012 (LWI) – In its final session in Colombia the Council of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) passed two resolutions on the situation in the Middle East.
Palestine – Call for Resumption of Peace Talks
A recommendation presented by the Committee for Advocacy and Public Voice concentrated on points about the relationship between Israel and Palestine, as well as the situation of the Christian churches in the Holy Land. In its resolution, the Council called upon LWF member churches to advocate for a halt to “expansion and creation of settlements” and for an immediate resumption of peace talks. The talks should lead to resolving the final status questions about the conflict, end the occupation, and enable a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, with peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.
The Council also called on the member churches to work for a continuing vibrant presence of Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. The work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land including its focus on education was highlighted as an important contribution to witness in the Holy Land. LWF member churches, development agencies and governments were encouraged to increase support for this work.
Syria – Appeal to International Community for Support
A further resolution dealt with the violence in Syria that has been going on for over a year and has already cost over 10,000 lives, mostly civilians. The Council said it joined the United Nations in appealing for an end to the violence and all forms of human rights abuses.
The LWF governing body urged all parties in the conflict “to urgently protect” the Syrian population and refrain from supplying arms. It called on the Syrian government to allow immediate humanitarian access to all people in need, and urged the international community to provide generous support to refugees from Syria.
The Council assured the churches in the Middle East of its solidarity “as they yearn for the nurturing of modern civil societies which respect human rights” in the region. (360 words)