During this week, which includes the International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21 September, church organizations, congregations, and people of faith are encouraged to bear a common witness by participating in worship services, educational events, and acts of support in favor of peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis.
While commemorating 75 years of Nakba (catastrophe) of the Palestinian people since 1948, the preparatory committee for this year’s materials questioned the injustice in all this for the family and chose the Bible verse Matthew 8:20 to lay down the issue as presented by Jesus Christ: "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
From this verse comes the theme of the 2023 World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, “No place to lay my head,” reflecting the challenge for Palestinian families as well as other people facing difficulties to a uniting home.
World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay reiterated that the WCC stands with Palestinian and Israeli people as they seek peace, justice, and reconciliation.
“We must work together to build a better, more humane, and more secure future for all,” said Pillay. “Children and families should not have to exist in a state of uncertainty and division—particularly not for decade after decade. It is time to seek just peace in the context of Palestine and Israel so that families can lay down their heads in peace, love, unity and joy.”
Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, WCC program director for Public Witness and Diakonia, urged people all over the world to pray for the Holy Land, in September and all year round. “Let us pray together that the situation—one in which so many women, children, and families have no place to lay their head—will be transformed,” he said. “As churches, let us strive to prepare a world for all people to not only lay their heads but space for them to share peace.”