Press Release

Church leaders in Holy Land call for de-escalation, respect for human rights

The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem called for peace and justice amid unfolding violence. “The Holy Land, a place sacred to countless millions around the world, is currently mired in violence and suffering due to the prolonged political conflict and the lamentable absence of justice and respect for human rights,” their statement reads. “We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, have time and again appealed for the importance of respecting the historic and legal Status Quo of the holy shrines.”

The statement unequivocally condemns any acts that target civilians, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or faith. “It is our fervent hope and prayer that all parties involved will heed this call for an immediate cessation of violence,” the statement reads. “We implore political leaders and authorities to engage in sincere dialogue, seeking lasting solutions that promote justice, peace, and reconciliation for the people of this land, who have endured the burdens of conflict for far too long.”

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem expressed deep concern about the cycle of violence.

“The operation launched from Gaza and the reaction of the Israeli Army are bringing us back to the worst periods of our recent history,” the statement reads. “Unilateral declarations surrounding the status of religious sites and places of worship rattle religious sentiment and fuel even more hatred and extremism,” reads the statement. “It is therefore important to preserve the Status Quo in all the Holy Places in the Holy Land and in Jerusalem in particular.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land expressed shock and distress over the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and its surrounding areas.

“As the language of ‘war’ is now being used to characterize this violence, it is important to remember that the warfare of today is not isolated,” reads the statement. “It is connected to a larger context and a longer history.”

Statement from Heads of Churches in Jerusalem

Statement from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Statement from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

WCC urgently appeals for immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine (7 October 2023)

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