Peace Not Walls
We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work. We do God’s work in the world — restoring and reconciling communities.
The ELCA is working for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel through our campaign, Peace Not Walls. Through accompaniment, advocacy and awareness-raising, Peace Not Walls connects ELCA members to our companions and promotes dignity, full respect for human rights, healing and reconciliation. With our Palestinian Lutheran companions, we also accompany Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims working together for peace with justice.
How we work
Accompaniment: Our church’s primary companion church in the Holy Land is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). This Arabic-speaking community of faithful Lutherans is the primary relationship through which the ELCA sees the situation in Palestine and Israel. Together, our churches are members of The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion that has a vital Jerusalem-area program that has been running projects related to health, education and humanitarian aid in the occupied Palestinian territories for over 65 years.
The ELCA, the ELCJHL and The Lutheran World Federation also have a long history of nurturing and developing relationships among Jewish and Muslim communities in the Holy Land. The ELCJHL was instrumental in creating the Council for Religious Institutions in the Holy Land, whose faith leaders encourage and advocate for the moderate voices for justice and peace among their own people. The Rev. Mark Hanson, former presiding bishop of the ELCA, was a founding member of The National Interreligious Leadership Initiative on the Middle East, a group of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith leaders who work toward a common vision for Middle East just peace. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton continues to be involved with the initiative. The ELCA has long and deep relationships with Jewish and Muslim communities that foster mutual understanding and challenge all to uphold justice, peace and non-violence.
Advocacy: We invite you to join our advocacy efforts to bring about a just and lasting negotiated resolution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict.
- Call for equal human dignity and rights for all people in the Holy Land.
- Call for an end to Israeli settlement building and the occupation of Palestinian land, both of which violate international law;
- Call for a two-state solution, with two viable, secure states living side-by-side.
- Ask individuals to invest in Palestinian products to build their economy and to utilize selective purchasing to avoid buying products made in illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land.
- Call for an examination of U.S. military aid to Israel to ensure compliance with U.S. and international human rights law and a possible withholding of aid for noncompliance with those laws.
Awareness-raising: Are you interested in learning more, sharing your experiences with others, and/or traveling to the Holy Land? Peace Not Walls will help connect you locally with others concerned about the future of Israel and Palestine, provide you with resources (informational handouts, worship materials, maps, historical background, trip planning ideas, church policy, etc.), and share information about upcoming trips to the Holy Land.
Through its Peace Not Walls campaign, the ELCA supports a viable, contiguous Palestinian state; a secure Israeli state at peace with its Arab neighbors; and a shared Jerusalem with equal access and rights for Jews, Muslims and Christians. In order to achieve this just peace we need your support!
Join us in this call to walk alongside our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land by raising awareness and advocating in your hometown, congregation, school, and/or synod. Join in the International Prayer Vigil organized by companions in Jerusalem which calls for all faith communities worldwide to pray for peace with justice in the Middle East on the 24th of each month.To find other ways to get involved, click here.