Displaying items by tag: Holy Land
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, along with the World Council of Churches and other churches, have expressed their concern and prayers about the situation in Israel and Palestine: ‘Almighty and everlasting God, our days are in your hands. We lift up all those in the Holy Land who are victims of violence and injustice, that You will empower Your Church to bring healing to the wounded, relief to the suffering, and comfort to those who mourn. We pray also that You will soften the hearts of all those involved in the recent conflicts, that they may be led to work for justice and lasting peace in the land where Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, first came to bring hope and abundant life to all people. These things we ask in his Holy Name. Amen.’
A Christian journalist in Bethlehem said the unrest between Israel and Gaza is a ‘spiritual battle’. In Genesis God tells the Jews, ‘I will give you this land’. Muslims believe that ‘a Messiah is coming soon and will free Jerusalem and give Israel and Palestine to them’. In his opinion this is making for a spiritual battle in the Holy Land - a view partly echoed by a Canon of St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Rev David Longe. ‘I think it's quite clear that elements within each of the warring factions will see it as a spiritual battle, because they will actually look to Scripture to give them the grounding for the reasons why these actions are happening.’ Rev Longe is desperately concerned for both sides in the violence, and believes it is vital for people across the world to continue to pray for peace in the region.
The Bishop of Southwark was one of fifteen bishops who visited the Holy Land for ‘2019 Holy Land Coordination’. A communiqué issued by this group said: ‘We have seen how there are Israeli citizens from many different backgrounds who coexist and work together for the common good of our society. Christians there make a vital contribution, especially through schools, hospitals, involvement in public life, and attempting to build bridges between different faiths. Yet it is clear that they also face profound difficulties across all aspects of their lives. Along with Palestinian Arab citizens and migrants, many Christians are systematically discriminated against and marginalised. Those we met expressed particular concern about the Nation State Law that was recently passed. They warn that this creates a constitutional and legal basis for discrimination against minorities, undermining the ideals of equality, justice and democracy. We stand with Israel’s Christians and all those challenging discrimination, in support of their call to protect the country’s pluralism.’
Justin Welby had a 'profound sense of grief and sorrow' after listening to Palestinian Christians’ testimonies of living with a concrete separation wall near Bethlehem. He said, 'You cannot come and hear the testimonies I heard, you cannot hear from the people who live here, without your heart becoming heavier and heavier, more and more burdened, with that sense of people whose history has led them to a place where all they have known is disintegrating.' He also commented on Donald Trump’s possible role when it comes to bringing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He said, 'We know from history in this region that determined leadership by the president of the USA, together with patient working by lots of other people in the background, often unknown, can tip things very, very decisively - it has done so in the past.' See also: