Praying for Peace in the Holy Land

By Rev Dr Paul Goh

Posted in News

Media release from the Uniting Church in South Australia, 24 October 2023

Uniting Church in South Australia Moderator Rev Peter Morel has urged all members of the Uniting Church in South Australia to join in prayer for a just peace in Israel and Palestine as violence and conflict continues to devastate the region.

“We, as members of the global body of Christ, are shocked by, and grieve the loss of life and suffering of Israeli and Palestinian people in the Holy Land as a result of recent atrocities committed by members of Hamas in Israel and the effects of the Israeli retaliation in Gaza, noting that all lives are sacred and everyone deserves the right to live in peace and freedom and to be able to enjoy basic human rights.” said Rev Morel.

“The use of violence and commission of acts which amount to war crimes, cannot be condoned or tolerated regardless of who commits them. We acknowledge that Israel has the right to defend its people. At the same time, we note that underlying this recent increase in violence, is 75 years of occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and that an Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip has been in place for 16 years.”

“We pray that God's Spirit moves in those who work for short and long-term solutions - for the leaders of the United Nations and the international community, that they may work for reconciliation rather than escalation, an end to the violence committed by Hamas and Israel and the restoration of human rights for Palestinians and a recognition of a Palestinian state.” he concluded.

At the annual meeting in June 2023, the South Australian Synod has resolved to endorse the statement ‘Seeking Justice and Peace for all in the Middle-East' of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany in September 2022 and commend it to members, congregations, and agencies in the Synod of SA in their advocacy for a just peace in the Holy Land; justice for the people of Palestine/Israel and the restoration of rights for Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Rev Dr Paul Goh
SA Synod Justice & CALD Multicultural & Cross-Cultural Officer



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