Israel-Palestine Peace Agreement Would Be a Sign of Hope to the World

A section of the Separation Wall snakes through the area of Abu Dis outside of East Jerusalem. Photo: LWF/DWS Jerusalem/Margit Christenson
A section of the Separation Wall snakes through the area of Abu Dis outside of East Jerusalem. Photo: LWF/DWS Jerusalem/Margit Christenson

Lutheran Bishops Join US and Jerusalem Church Leaders Commending Secretary Kerry’s Peace Efforts

GENEVA, 25 March 2014 (LWI) - A peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians would be a sign of hope for the entire world, says Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

“Surely a generations-old conflict within a family—in this case the children of Abraham—can be achingly painful and seemingly intractable. But with God all things are possible,” Eaton added.

The ELCA presiding bishop was commenting on a 19 March letter, which more than 40 Christian leaders in the United States and Jerusalem wrote to US Secretary of State John Kerry, commending his efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Eaton noted that the conflict had caused suffering for Christians, Jews and Muslims, and said Christians are praying for the people of Israel and Palestine and for Kerry “that God might grant him wisdom and stamina.”

Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), who was among the signatories to the letter said Christians in the Middle East were tired of the unsettled political situation and are praying for peace based on justice as soon as possible.

“We pray that the leaders of the world and the leaders of Palestine and Israel will look to international law for the peace and justice. The people are looking for a solution now. People want a dignified solution based on international law,” said Younan, who is President of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

The letter marks the first time the Catholic, Coptic, Lutheran and Episcopal heads of churches in Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Places are joining US Christian denominations and groups to support urgent efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Christian leaders commended Kerry for his active efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the long-standing conflict with the mutual recognition, dignity, justice and security that each side in the dispute deserves.

“Lack of resolution will have negative consequences for both Israelis and Palestinians and exacerbate other grave problems in the region,” the church leaders said. “Failure would have detrimental consequences for the entire international community.”