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Serving the Cause of Middle East Peace

1 December 2023

Community of Christ has joined other Christian denominations and groups sending letters pleading for a ceasefire and peace in the Israel-Hamas war. 

In response to World Conference Resolution 1311, “Palestine and Israel,” adopted June 10, 2016, Presidents Scott Murphy and Stassi Cramm signed messages on behalf of Community of Christ that were coordinated by Churches for Middle East Peace, urging progress toward a cease-fire agreement. 

For example, on 29 November, Murphy and Cramm joined sixty-six other religious leaders from around the world in a CMEP statement circulated by the organization. The conflict began 7 October in the region with destruction by Hamas of communities near the Gaza Strip in southern Israel. That nation’s actions since have forced millions of Palestinians out of the north end of the Gaza Strip, with many fleeing into Egypt or crowding into the southern end of the strip. Many of the thousands killed in the conflict were young adults and children.

Community of Christ is a member of CMEP and Steven Kellogg serves as liaison. Kellogg keeps church leadership informed about CMEP’s efforts. Groups like CMEP use nonviolent methods to advocate for peace and put pressure on governments involved in conflict. In the most recent statement signed by Murphy and Cramm, part of the statement included: 

“We welcome the recent announcement about the release of dozens of hostages and a parallel prisoner exchange, in addition to the desperately needed few days of a cessation of violence. 

“Now is the time to redouble our efforts to insist that a long-standing bilateral ceasefire comes to fruition. 

“Like the author of Lamentations, our broken hearts weep as we hear of Palestinian babies in Gaza dying and of the thousands of children who have lost their lives. More than eleven thousand Palestinians have been killed, tens of thousands have been wounded, and 1.6 million have been displaced from their homes and communities. It is unacceptable that millions of people are in desperate need of clean water, adequate food, fuel for electricity, and urgently needed medical supplies. Without safe drinking water and proper medical supplies, poor hygiene conditions have already led to more preventable deaths, especially among children. We weep with broken hearts as we hear of hospitals, mosques, churches, and schools damaged and destroyed by this war. In Gaza, there is no safe place. There is no refuge. There is no escape. … 

“We stand ardently against the vitriolic hatred expressed around the world toward Jews, Muslims, and others because of firmly held convictions about the war. We condemn crimes of hate and uphold that all people should be able to live without fear, with security, and with equally protected human rights. We lament how this conflict is straining community cohesion and interreligious efforts. …  

“We write as religious leaders to say enough is enough. … 

Ways to participate:

  • Join weekly prayers for peace at 11:30 a.m. Central US Standard Time on Wednesdays.
  • Watch CMEP weekly briefing at 9:00 a.m. Central US Standard Time on Thursdays.
  • Read the current listing of CMEP statements that member communions can promote to their members.
  • Join weekly community calls to Congress on Mondays. (CMEP suggested time 11:00 a.m. Central US Standard Time)
  • Make an Advent ceasefire chain and offer a daily prayer and a call to Congress for a ceasefire.
  • Stay informed with Daily Video Updates by the Rev. Mae Elise Cannon, CMEP executive director

Tags: peace, middle, east, cmep

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