20 October 2023
14 Peace Organisations and over 700 local church leaders sign open letter to Foreign Secretary urging ‘Dialogue and de-escalation’ in response to violence in Israel and Gaza
Church and Peace together with representatives of 14 organisations and over 700 church members and leaders sign an open letter to the Foreign Secretary about the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza. The letter, created by members of the Network of Christian Peace Organisations, calls on the Foreign Secretary to promote ‘de-escalation and dialogue’ in Palestine and Israel. It recognises the huge ongoing human suffering and urges lasting ‘non military’ solutions to peace in the region to be pursued.
The letter also recognised that the conflict has and will increase anti-semitic and Islamophobic acts in the UK and the signatories commit themselves to doing what they can to de-escalate the tensions.
The organisational signatures are from Pax Christi, the Methodist Peace Fellowship, the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Ekklesia, Quakers in Britain, Northern Friends Peace Board, Community of Christ, Sabeel-Kairos UK, Church and Peace, The Iona Community, Cymdeithas y Cymod and Christian CND, Tertiary Order of St Francis (Justice and Peace Committee).
Charlotte Marshall, Director of Sabeel-Kairos, who co-wrote the letter said: ‘The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is intensifying daily. Innocent men, women and children in both Palestine and Israel are paying the price of years of unresolved oppression and political indifference to the situation in Palestine. The UK government must act now to demand international law is upheld and civilians are protected. Beyond that, should it wish to remain a credible voice in the region, it must pursue justice and equality for all in the Holy Land, helping to lay the foundations for a true and lasting peace.’
John Cooper, from Fellowship of Reconciliation, who helped organise the letter said : “As more blood is spilled in the Middle East it’s important for us to act as people of hope. Our hope starts by recognising and lamenting the increased violence in this sacred region. It then moves to action, urging people in positions of political power to use their influence not simply to stop this new fighting but to lay foundations for lasting peace”.
The full letter with all signatories is available at: https://ncpo.org.uk/israel-gaza-october23
Notes to Editors
The Network of Christian Peace Organisations (www.ncpo.org.uk) brings together a range of Christian organisations with an interest in peace.
This letter reflects conditions in the conflict at the moment it was written.
Many member organisations have links to organisations in the Middle East.