Statement from Palestinian Christian Leaders

Photo: LWF/Mark Brown
Photo: LWF/Mark Brown

LWF President Wrongfully Placed as Signatory

(LWI) – A statement today with the title: “Statement from Palestinian Christian Leaders: Europe Must Recognize the State of Palestine,” has been published and widely distributed. The statement identifies Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation as a signatory. But Bishop Younan has never signed the statement.

The Lutheran World Federation strongly objects to the action of wrongfully placing Bishop Younan as signatory.

As a spokesperson of the LWF, President Younan has repeatedly re-iterated the LWF’s clear stand on the issue of peace and justice in the Middle East:

In 2011, the LWF Council resolution on the Middle East called for a two-state solution and the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel. The resolution called for peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. It also called for the immediate lifting of the economic blockade of the Gaza strip and for the urgent international action to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people and for all parties to refrain from violent or provocative actions.

The LWF Council also called for Jerusalem to be a city shared between the two peoples and three religions.

In 2012, the LWF Council called upon its member churches to educate members of LWF churches based on the 2011 statement as a basis for awareness, advocacy and accompaniment; and to strengthen the various contacts with Israelis and Palestinians, encouraging dialogue and reconciliation.

In 2013, the LWF Council affirmed the long-standing commitment of Christians in the Middle East to be recognized as an integral part of their societies and supported the desire of Christians in the region who want to remain in their countries with their people.

The LWF is committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East. President Younan’s advocacy and work for peace, reconciliation and mutual recognition of the peoples and religions in the region has been widely acknowledged and confirmed by international partners over the past years and continues to be a source of inspiration to member churches in the LWF.