+140 Global Christian Leaders Call for a Permanent Gaza Ceasefire, Stop Arming Israel

More than 140 global Christian leaders called for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and for an end to foreign military support for Israel in a March 26 letter to U.S. President Joe Biden and other politicians.

“We, as global Christian leaders, stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Palestine and around the world and say the killing must stop, and the violence must be brought to an end,” they wrote.

In separate text specifically addressed to Biden, the signatories wrote, “We implore you to have the moral courage to end U.S. complicity in the ongoing violence and, instead, do everything in your power to prevent the potential genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.”

The letter comes just one day after the United States abstained from a U.N. vote calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza during the month of Ramadan. The resolution passed with 14 votes in favor.

They called on the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and France to join the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Japan to halt additional military support and arms to Israel and not be complicit in the ongoing military campaign that is having such devastating effects on civilians in Gaza. “Further militarization of the conflict makes no one safer and instead prolongs suffering and causes more death and destruction”, they added.

In the letter, the leaders highlighted the high death toll in Gaza, the onset of famine and Israel’s genocide trial at the International Court of Justice. “As the ongoing devastation, bombing, and ground invasion in Gaza continue into their sixth month, Palestinians, including our Palestinian Christian siblings, cry out to the world, asking, ‘Where are you?” the letter said.

The Christian Leaders also called for the release of Palestinian political prisoners held without due process, “immediate and adequate humanitarian assistance” for Gaza and a negotiated settlement that addresses the root consequences of the conflict.”

Signatories of the letter came from the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

They represented a broad range of Christian groups, including Catholic bishops, Catholic sisters, Quakers, Mennonites, evangelicals, Antiochian Orthodox Christians and leaders from the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of England, The Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Lott Carey Foreign Baptist Mission Convention, United Reformed Church, Church of Scotland, African Presbyterian Bafolisi Church, Church of the Brethren, Community of Christ, Christian Reformed Church of North America and Armenian Church of America (Eastern).

The organization Churches for Middle East Peace, which organized the effort, said it plans to send the letter to other world leaders.

Source: Episcopal News Service, Churches for Middle East Peace

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