Churches to observe World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel
11 September 2013
The World Council of Churches (WCC) invites its member churches, faith-based organizations and civil society to observe the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel from 22 to 28 September, invoking prayers, action and advocacy for justice and peace in Palestine.
Initiated by the WCC’s Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF), the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel is a call to end the Israeli illegal occupation of Palestinian land, urging justice and peace for all people.
Theme for this year’s week of prayer is “Jerusalem, the city of justice and peace”.
The theme corresponds to the vision of the Kairos Document issued by Palestinian Christian leaders in 2009. The document states that Jerusalem is a city “inhabited by two peoples of three religions, and it is on this prophetic vision and on the international resolutions concerning the totality of Jerusalem that any political solution must be based”.
Individuals and congregations observing the World Week for Peace 2013 will organize special activities calling people of faith to pray with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other resources prepared for the week.
The week also invites actions that spread education about the ground realities in the region, especially those related to the city of Jerusalem. Advocacy initiatives emphasizing ecumenical policies in promoting justice and peace with political leaders are particularly encouraged.
As part of the most recent World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel in 2012, churches in at least 25 countries around the world sent a clear signal to policy-makers, community groups and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that ends the illegal occupation and secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples in Palestine and Israel.
“The World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel asserts the conviction that peace between Palestinians and Israel is a pressing imperative,” said John Calhoun, convenor of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.
“The week will bring together voices urging world leaders to call upon Israel to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions and end its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. We recall how in November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state. This decision has added impetus to our preparations for the week,” he added.