Christians Call for Holy Land Peace Priority: Sign Letter to President-Elect Obama
Churches for Middle East Peace issued this Petition Dec. 2, 2008 - http://action.cmep.org/t/4030/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=173
Check out the list of people who have already signed; they include:
Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary;
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church;
Ronald J. Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action;
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ);
Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners
The Rev. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ.
The complete list to date is at this link: http://action.cmep.org/t/4030/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=173
Churches for Middle East Peace message:
As we await the coming of Christ into our lives and our world during this Advent season, we renew our hopes for the day when all God’s children can live at peace in the land called Holy.
With the Obama Administration, there is a new opportunity for the United States to help achieve a just and lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Join major American Christian leaders – Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant – in sending a letter to President-elect Obama urging him to make achievement of Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during his first year in office: http://action.cmep.org/t/4030/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=173
On the campaign trail, Obama promised to work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians from the beginning of his Administration, but he faces many competing priorities and pressing global challenges. He needs to hear from American Christians now that Holy Land peace cannot be postponed and that we will support Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts by him and his foreign policy team.
Sign the ecumenical letter, along with Christians around the country, and help ensure that Obama fulfills his campaign promise to engage in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking as soon as he takes office.
The work for a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace will not be easy, but the risk of inaction is far greater. Without active U.S. engagement, achievement of a two-state solution will become even more difficult. A further delay of peace will also mean continued emigration of the Christian community in the Holy Land.
Urge President-elect Obama to provide diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement that establishes a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. The opportunity for achieving a two-state solution – supported by majorities of Israelis and Palestinians as the best way to end this tragic conflict – is narrowing and must be seized.
Especially at this time of year, when we anticipate the miracle of Christmas, we know that nothing is impossible with God. Jerusalem can become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for the region and the world.
The ecumenical Christian letter to President-elect Obama is included in full below. To view the full list of signers and add your name to the letter, click here: http://action.cmep.org/t/4030/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=173
We also hope you will share the letter with your friends, family and church community. Click here for church organizing resources and a tell-a-friend feature to help spread the word: http://action.cmep.org/t/4030/content.jsp?content_KEY=621
Heads of CMEP churches have signed the letter and CMEP is now working with its member churches and additional Catholic and Evangelical partners in coordinating this grassroots campaign. The deadline for signatures is January 16, 2009. The leaders’ letter was sent to the Obama transition team and newly unveiled national security team on December, 1, 2008. The final letter signed by Christian leaders and church members will be delivered to President Obama during the time of inauguration.
Here's the text of the letter:
Ecumenical Christian Letter to President-elect Obama
Dear President-elect Obama,
As Christians of the Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, we are united by a Biblical call to be peacemakers and a commitment to the two peoples of the Holy Land who yearn for a just peace. As Americans, we urge you, Mr. President, to make achievement of Israeli-Palestinian peace an immediate priority during your first year in office.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has gone on too long. It has caused untold suffering for both sides, created economic hardships, and provided a rallying cry for extremists.
As people of faith and hope, we believe peace is possible. Majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians continue to support a negotiated solution based on two secure and sovereign states as the best way to end this tragic conflict.
In order to achieve a durable peace, your Administration must provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement. Building on past discussions, we ask you to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make historic compromises necessary for peace.
Your commitment to working for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel can help strengthen U.S. security and improve stability and relationships throughout the Middle East. We believe that Jerusalem – home to two peoples and three religions – has the potential to become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for people across the region and the world.
We know the work for a just peace will not be easy. It will require great courage and resolve, but the risk of inaction is even greater. Without active U.S. engagement, political inertia and perpetuation of the unbearable status quo will make achievement of a two-state solution increasingly difficult.
Moreover, we are concerned about the negative impact a further delay will have on the Christian community in the Holy Land, whose numbers continue to decline.
We call on all Christians and people of goodwill to join us in praying for the peace of Jerusalem and in supporting vigorous U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure Middle East peace. Mr. President, as you take up the many challenges facing the United States and the global community, we urge you to work for a better future for all the children of Abraham in the land that is holy to us all.
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