On March 12-19, 2006, church groups in a dozen countries and members of the International Pax Christi and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) networks will participate in a joint advocacy initiative for peace in Palestine and Israel …
On March 12-19, 2006, church groups in a dozen countries and members of the International Pax Christi and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) networks will participate in a joint advocacy initiative for peace in Palestine and Israel convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC).
From Oslo to Cape Town, from Toronto to Jerusalem, concerned groups will lobby parliamentarians, hold public meetings, observe vigils and plant olive trees. Activities will signal to policy-makers and public audiences the churches’ conviction that a just and equitable resolution of the conflict is now more urgent than ever.
The initiative has been supported by a message from patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem calling Christians around the world to join in the week of March 12-19 “to make a public witness for peace.” “Now as the situation continues to deteriorate and opportunities for peace are forsaken it is crucial for Christians to make their voices heard vigorously in the public arena,” the message says.
In Jerusalem, the week will be launched on March 12 by a joint service of prayer led by the heads of churches. The week also includes, among other activities, a solidarity visit with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPTs) in Hebron, a candlelight march at the Separation Wall, and a planting day that is part of an Olive Tree Campaign.
The initiative fits within the framework of long-standing policies adopted by the WCC and its ecumenical partners. These reflect the broad international and legal consensus around a two-state solution, based on relevant UN resolutions, and a settlement negotiated between the two parties to secure the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.