Middle East Conflict: Call to Prayer, Fasting and Action
Message from the Church and Peace Annual General Meeting 2002

The continuing spiral of violence in the Middle East presents all of us with the challenge of showing love to those - both Palestinians and Israelis - who, trapped in hate, are prepared to destroy themselves and their own future in order to destroy others.

Paul's letter to the Ephesians (5:1-2) gives advice in meeting this challenge: "As God's children, try to be like him, and live in love as Christ loved you, and gave himself up on your behalf as an offering and sacrifice whose fragrance is pleasing to God."

This "living in love" must address both the internal and external destruction that people are facing. The power of God's spirit is needed to guard against the power that lies, weapons and profit wield; equally crucial is the presence of committed peacemakers on-location.

Therefore, we call on Christians, churches, and Christian communities and groups to support organizations which train and send peace service volunteers to the Middle East in the role of mediators and observers, for example the Christian Peacemaker Teams or the World Council of Churches with its Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

We call for the organization of times of prayer and fasting as a sign of

  • repentance for our and our respective governments' complicity in the conflict
  • hope for a transformation of the conflict through creative, nonviolent means
  • solidarity with the peoples of the Middle East.

    The members of Church and Peace commit themselves to supporting peace service programs and volunteers, and organizing times of prayer and fasting. One proposal for such a time of prayer and fasting is August 6-9, anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    In the event of a further military campaign in the region such as an offensive against Iraq, we will raise our voice in protest and continue to advocate for alternative, nonviolent solutions.

    Church and Peace Annual General Meeting
    Miribel, France, 28 April 2002