Palestine and Support for the Church
ELCA Church Council Action CC02.04.02
Passed by the 2002 ELCA Church Council.
To adopt the following as a statement of the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and Palestine and to all the people in the Middle East whose lives have been torn asunder by the continued bloodshed in the Holy Land;
Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson wrote to congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, “When a Passover meal becomes a bloody massacre, when the site of Jesus' birth is turned into a place of violence, when religious sanctuaries become battlegrounds for war, people of faith cannot remain silent.” We speak by reaffirming calls for peace in the Middle East in previous actions by the Church Council and Churchwide Assemblies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
We call upon the leaders of the United States in America to be resolute and determined in:
- Seeking an end to the violence;
- Establishing a cease-fire;
- Calling all parties to adhere to their international obligations in regard to humanitarian law and human rights standards;
- Seeking the establishment of an international peacekeeping presence in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza;
- Facilitating the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian-controlled areas;
- Bringing about an end to the occupation4; and
- Resuming negotiations that will lead to sustained peace with justice;
We urge all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to join us in writing to the President of the United States and Senators and Representatives, appealing to them to do all in their power to end the violence, respect human rights, and create a climate for the establishment of a just peace through the resumption of negotiations between the parties; and
We affirm the continuing ELCA Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East, asking that the members of this church hold all people of the Middle East — Christian, Jewish, and Muslim — in their prayers.