New York, NY - July 21, 2014
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) calls for an immediate end to the violent hostilities in the Israeli-Gaza conflict and for both sides to return to good faith negotiations. As Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA, stated earlier this year in a speech in Bethlehem: "The suffering, grief and despair of Christians, Muslims or Jews are an affront to humanity. Their suffering, grief and despair are an affront to God.”
The WEA also joins Christians in the Holy Land in calling for prayer for peace in their country. Following are the statements of three evangelical leaders in Israel and Palestine.
Rev. Harry Tees, WEA Ambassador to the Holy Land, says:
We, the Evangelicals in the Middle East and in particular in the Holy Land, are saddened by the spiral of violence that once again is ripping through our beloved neighborhoods. As believers in Jesus we beseech God the Almighty to have mercy on our lands.
We call the World Wide Church to join us for a time of prayer and fasting. We have much to repent of ourselves - the attitudes of blame and accusation. Yes, we are wronged but we have Jesus example of forgiveness and cannot separate us from His spirit for He is humble and meek. Also our use of the very Scriptures that call us to love: we choose selective portion to defend the cause we identify with. May our Lord have mercy as we fast and pray in order for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done.
Rev. Charles (Chuck) Kopp, Chairman of the Evangelical Alliance of Israel, says:
Now is the time we should all get together around the Lord Jesus and pray for each other and plead for mercy, undeserved mercy for all of us. Let us avoid entering the trap of the blame game, but rather, admitting that we are ALL sinners saved by grace and without Him we are destined to return to this same table of accusatory negotiations.
It is imperative we remember that our first allegiance and citizenship is from above and that we cannot use the Bible selectively to defend the cause with which we identify. We need to come out of this latest round of death and destruction and agree to place this quagmire of despair behind us, and transcend these latest attempts to assassinate what is left of our brotherhood in Christ by loving one another more fervently. Then, and only then, will we be able to demonstrate a difference that the world would envy.
Some of us will have to rise up and say enough is enough and be healed from the pains of the past. We cannot continue to export clichés to the world that is hungry for real answers that our Savior is waiting to supply if we are not willing to take the most elementary steps to be truly reconciled to our brother.
Dr. Munir Kakish, Chairman of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land (representing evangelicals in the Palestinian Territories), says:
We ask Israelis and Palestinians to stop the fighting. We as a council want to be a bridge of peace to all people. We feel very strongly that killing - no matter where - is not a Godly response. War is not the answer. Negotiations are the proper path to solve conflicts.
Also we urge those who are concerned about lives to help stop the ugly war in Syria and Iraq and throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The shedding blood of Christians in our area is going beyond human imagination. Killing Christians just because they are Christian is not acceptable and should be stopped immediately.
Christians are most suffering here and we must find solutions for them. My heart is so broken for what is going on here and the world is doing nothing to stop terrorism. Many times I weep as I see my Christian brothers in the Middle East die daily with no mercy because they are Christians.
We will stay here in the Holy Land to proclaim the Gospel and help families and children to have the necessary supplies to live. Our prayer is that people will hear what we are saying and act immediately on these matters of much concern to our hearts. Blessed are the peacemakers this is our prayer at this time for our area.
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.