In a 9 July letter, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit invited the WCC global fellowship and all people of good will to participate in the World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel on 16-23 September.
This year’s theme is “Youth and Children: Raising Hope and Making Change”.
Held the third week of September each year, the World Week of Peace unites Christian witnesses in peaceful actions around the world to promote a just peace in Palestine and Israel.
“We remind world leaders, as well as the public, about a sad, unsolved – and in some ways forgotten – situation, which benefits neither Israelis nor Palestinians,” wrote Tveit. “Youth and children are the ones who suffer the most in conflicts and under occupation.”
Young people also hold the future of Palestine and Israel in their hands, reflected Tveit. “Today, too many children in Palestinian territories grow up in fear, poverty and hopelessness, caused by more than 50 years of occupation,” he wrote. “Too many youngsters lack access to proper education and can’t find decent work.”
Still, there is hope for a just peace in Palestine and Israel, Tveit concluded. “During this week, which includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September, 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 favour of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis,” he concluded.
“Through support of its member churches in the region, and interreligious dialogue with other faith-based organizations, the World Council of Churches has a long history of engagement for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.”