Statements   
Major written statements and reports published
by churches, governments, organizations
and the United Nations. 
  
Ecumenical Letters to Pres. Obama
Other major statements by Christian institutions:
Presbyterian Church USA
Evangelical Lutheran
Mennonite Central Comm
United Church of Christ
AFSC

Christian Peacemaker Teams-Palestine

Two Ecumenical Letters to President Obama:
 
Urgent Call for American Leadership

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
 
June 4, 2009
 
Dear Mr. President,

As American Christian leaders with a shared commitment to a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace, we have come together at a time of great opportunity and urgency. After decades of tragic conflict, many Israelis and Palestinians despair of the possibility of peace, yet with your determined leadership we believe the promise of two viable, secure and independent states can be realized.  

We commend your message to the people of the Middle East and your challenge to all of us to work for Holy Land peace as we seek to build a more positive future for the people of the region and the world.  We are grateful that you have identified resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a top priority and made clear your Administration’s commitment to sustained, hands-on diplomacy.  As you embark on peace efforts, we ask you to provide a clear framework for an end to the conflict, help Israelis and Palestinians make the difficult decisions necessary to achieve lasting peace, and hold both parties to account when they fail to honor their commitments.    

Mr. President, you have assumed office at one of the most critical moments in the long history of this conflict. While the international community and majorities of the Israeli and Palestinian people are all committed to a two state solution as the best option for achieving peace and security, the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Continued settlement growth and expansion are rapidly diminishing any possibility for the creation of a viable Palestinian
state. The targeting of Israeli civilians through ongoing rocket fire and the insistent rejection by some of Israel’s right to exist reinforces the destructive status quo. These actions, along with the route of the separation barrier, movement restrictions, and continued home demolitions, serve to undermine Palestinians and Israelis alike who seek peace. As hope dims, the threat of violence grows and hardliners are strengthened. 

We share a common commitment to all the people of the Holy Land—Jews, Christians and
Muslims— and are particularly concerned with the plight of the Palestinian Christian
community. In the birthplace of our faith, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities is
dwindling rapidly, and with them the possibility of a day when three thriving faith communities
live in shared peace in Jerusalem. Mr. President, it is apparent that unless there is an Israeli-
Palestinian peace agreement Christians in the Holy Land may cease to exist as a viable
community.  

Now is indeed the time for immediate and bold American leadership. Fruitful diplomacy will
require U.S. engagement with a Palestinian unity government committed to peace with the state of Israel. We commend your important statements pressing both Israel and the Palestinians to live up to their obligations, and we urge your Administration to continue to bolster Palestinian capacity to halt violence and continue to demonstrate firm dedication to a viable Palestinian state by exhibiting no tolerance for Israeli settlement activity.  While working to end rocket attacks against the people of southern Israel, the U.S. should also seek immediate relief for the population of Gaza—living in rubble and without basic necessities—by ending restrictions on humanitarian goods and opening the borders to reconstruction material, commerce and transit in a secure manner.  

We welcome your call for people on both sides to recognize the pain and aspirations of the other.  Because of this conflict many have lost the ability to see the other as human beings worthy of dignity and respect. An entire generation of Israelis and Palestinians has grown up amidst violence and hatred. We pledge to join with you to work with and support those in both societies who seek peace, justice, and security, standing beside those who hope for a better future for themselves and for the generations that follow. 
  
The current political stalemate and declining situation on the ground demonstrate that Israelis and Palestinians cannot reach a negotiated agreement without a strong, helping hand.  We urge your Administration to present proposals that go beyond the mere principle of two states and lay out a just and equitable solution that provides dignity, security and sovereignty for both peoples. Moreover, we appreciate your strong support for a comprehensive peace and we look forward to diplomatic efforts to build upon the historic Arab Peace Initiative, with its offer of recognition and normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for an end to the occupation.   

There is no greater work than the Psalmist’s call to “seek peace and pursue it” and no more
critical time than now to finally end the conflict in the Holy Land (Ps. 34:14). We stand ready to support your bold action and are rallying Christians nationwide around robust U.S. peacemaking efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. Our prayers and mutual commitment are with you in this difficult and most important task.  

Sincerely, 

The Rev. Dr. Jimmy R. Allen
Coordinator
New Baptist Covenant
 
The Most Rev. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian
Primate
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
 
David Black
President
Eastern University
 
Bishop Wayne Burkette
Moravian Church in America, Southern Province
 
Tony Campolo
Speaker
Eastern University, St. Davids, PA
 
Sr. J. Lora Dambroski, OSF 
President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
 
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America 
Primate 
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
 
Marie Dennis
Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
 
Dr. Joy Fenner
Former President
Baptist General Convention of Texas
 
Leighton Ford
President
Leighton Ford Ministries 

Israel L. Gaither
Commissioner
National Commander
The Salvation Army
 
Rev. Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley
Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention
 
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
General Secretary
Reformed Church in America
 
Ken Hackett
President
Catholic Relief Services
 
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 
President, Lutheran World Federation
 
Dennis Hollinger
President 
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary 
 
Most Rev. Howard J. Hubbard
Bishop of Albany
Chairman
Committee on International Justice and Peace 
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
 
Dr. Joel C. Hunter
Senior Pastor, Northland Church
Member, Executive Committee of the 
National Association of Evangelicals
 
Bill Hybels
Senior Pastor
Willow Creek Community Church 
 
Lynne Hybels 
Advocate for Global Engagement
Willow Creek Community Church
 
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church
 
Reverend A. Wayne Johnson
General Secretary
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America

Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim
Archbishop
Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Eastern USA 
 
Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF
President
Franciscan Action Network
 
Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary
National Council of Churches
 
Rev. Michael E. Livingston
Executive Director
International Council of Community Churches
Immediate Past President, National Council of Churches
 
Reverend Willie Maynard
Treasurer, National Baptist Convention, Inc.
Pastor, St. Paul Baptist Church, LA
 
His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Washington
 
Rev. John L. McCullough
Executive Director and CEO
Church World Service
 
Mary Ellen McNish
General Secretary
American Friends Service Committee
 
Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary
American Baptist Churches
 
Richard J. Mouw
President
Fuller Theological Seminary
 
David Neff
Editor in Chief
Christianity Today
 
Stanley J. Noffsinger
General Secretary
Church of the Brethren
 
Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer, President
The Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Rev. Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church, (USA)
 
Very Rev. Thomas Picton, CSsR
President
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
 
Reverend Tyrone Pitts
General Secretary
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 
 
Most Rev. John H. Ricard, SSJ
Catholic Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
 
Bob Roberts, Jr.
Pastor
NorthWood Church, Keller, TX
 
Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba)
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
 
Rolando Santiago
Executive Director
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
 
Dr. Chris Seiple
President
Institute for Global Engagement
 
Robert Seiple 
Former Ambassador-at-large for 
International Religious Freedom
 
Reverend William J. Shaw
President, National Baptist Convention, Inc
Pastor, White Rock Baptist Church, PA
 
Ron Sider
President
Evangelicals for Social Action 
 
Reverend T. DeWitt Smith 
President
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.  
 
Richard Stearns 
President
World Vision
 
Rev. John H. Thomas
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ
 
Jim Wallis
President
Sojourners
 
Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
 
Most Rev. Thomas G. Wenski
Catholic Bishop of Orlando
 
The Right Rev. John F. White 
Ecumenical and Urban Affairs Officer
African Methodist Episcopal Church 
 
Joe Volk
Executive Secretary
Friends Committee on National Legislation
 
Bishop Gabino Zavala
Bishop President
Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement


Heads of Churches write to
President Obama on Israeli Settlements

http://globalministries.org/news/mee/heads-of-churches-write-to.html

April 5, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

As leaders of major Christian faith communities in America we write to express our strong support for your Administration's bold efforts to restart negotiations aimed at a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land. We applaud your efforts to halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories, and we join you in seeking a comprehensive agreement that ends the occupation, provides security and recognition for Israel, and establishes a viable, secure and independent Palestinian state.

We believe that with your strong leadership these negotiations can lead to an accord soon that ends the conflict and achieves both the Palestinian goal of an independent, secure and viable state and Israel's goal of a secure state with recognized borders.

New construction or settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank undermines the mutual trust that is a necessary condition for successful negotiations. In this regard, the announcement of March 9 for new housing in East Jerusalem is unacceptable. The expansion of settlements endangers efforts to start the proximity talks that are to be the first step towards direct negotiations on all final status issues that include borders, refugees, security, and a shared Jerusalem.

We cannot permit the benefits of reconciliation and peace to be undermined by fear. Continued violence only strengthens rejectionists on both sides. We also condemn therefore all violence such as that which led to four Palestinian deaths recently in the West Bank and a rogue rocket attack that killed a worker in southern Israel. Authorities on both sides must take steps to avoid provocations and maintain order.

This is an important moment in the struggle to end the occupation and achieve a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land – a restoration of right relationships that will allow Israel and the Palestinians to live in peace with each other and their neighbors.

Continuing U.S. involvement –with necessary support from the U.S. Congress and U.S. public opinion—will be needed to help both sides resolve complex issues. We pledge to give you every possible support in this effort and to join with our Jewish and Muslim colleagues to help work for that goal.

Sincerely,

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian 
Armenian Orthodox Church 
 
Dr. Ray Bakke 
Chancellor, Bakke Graduate University   
Chair, Evangelicals for Middle East  Understanding

Rev. Geoffrey Black 
General Minister and President  
United Church of Christ 

Bishop Wayne Burkette 
Moravian Church in America, Southern 
Province 

Very Rev. Thomas Cassidy, SCJ 
President 
Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes 
   
Rev. Paula Clayton Dempsey 
Minister for Partnership Relations 
Alliance of Baptists 

Marie Dennis 
Director 
Maryknoll Office for Global Concern 

Rev. Gerard Dykstra 
Executive Director 
Christian Reformed Church in North America 

Sister Donna Graham, OSF 
President 
English-speaking Conference, JPIC Council 
Franciscan Friars (OFM) 

Rev. Wesley Granberg?Michaelson  
General Secretary  
Reformed Church in America 
 
Ken Hackett  
President  
Catholic Relief Services 
 
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson  
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in America  

Most Rev. Howard J. Hubbard
Bishop of Albany 
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace 
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori 
Presiding Bishop and Primate 
The Episcopal Church 
 
Rev. Michael Kinnamon, Ph.D. 
General Secretary  
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA 
 
Clifton Kirkpatrick 
President 
World Alliance of Reformed Churches 
 
Rev. John L. McCullough 
Executive Director and CEO 
Church World Service 
 
Mary Ellen McNish 
General Secretary  
American Friends Service Committee 

Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer  
President 
The Council of Bishops  
The United Methodist Church
 
Rev. Gradye Parsons 
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly 
Presbyterian Church (USA) 
 
Rolando L. Santiago  
Executive Director  
Mennonite Central Committee US 

Robert Seiple  
Former Ambassador?at?large for  
International Religious Freedom 

Ronald J. Sider 
President 
Evangelicals for Social Action