Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

During the third week of September each year, we unite as 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.

The World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel, 16 – 23 September, is a manifestation of solidarity with peoples struggling in despair under illegal occupation and – yet another – urgent call for justice and peace.

This year’s theme of the World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel is “Youth and Children: Raising Hope and Making Change”. Youth and children are the ones who suffer the most in conflicts and under occupation. They are also the ones who will hold the future of Palestine and Israel in their hands, the ones we pray will grow up with peace and prosperity.

Today, too many children in Palestinian territories grow up in fear, poverty and hopelessness, caused by more than 50 years of occupation. 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, and as Christians we must continue our efforts on a global scale to resolve the conflict peacefully. During this week, which includes the International Day of 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 favour of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. Representing 350 churches in more than 120 countries, the World Council of Churches is a strong, visible and influential advocate for justice and peace. 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.

Please join us again this year in our global manifestation for justice and peace in the Holy Land.

Remaining yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary