A clear and simple call for Peace at Easter

PalestineIt is easy to find the many Easter messages emanating from Churches around the world on social media this morning, and no doubt there will also be some from political leaders as the day proceeds. It is of course important for all of those of us who are Christians to remember that this week, although it is Easter for most Western Churches and also coincides with the Jewish Passover this year, that it is a week ahead of the Easter celebrations of the Orthodox Church.

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit made a statement yesterday and although it is not intended as an Easter message, it emerged on my social media today and so it does resonate for the celebrations I am part of. It seems to be a very timely reminder of the challenges being brought to the land where Jesus was crucified, and where, today we celebrate his resurrection. Tragically on the day we refer to as Good Friday, 17 Palestinians were murdered and 1,400 were injured by Israeli soldiers, making it one of the most violent days in that area for many years. The statement goes:

“This has become a critical situation for people’s lives and people’s dignity in Gaza,” he said and added: “The events the last days shows that it is urgent to respond to the extremely difficult life conditions in Gaza with constructive and just solutions.” Tveit underlined: “We call on the Israeli government to guarantee human rights, the freedom of speech and the need for just peace and decent living conditions for all people.”

Tveit added: “We also call for support and action from the international community to end the blockade of Gaza. We all need to commit to the moral value of justice and peace: both parties would be blessed by a lasting solution, and it would be an important contribution to world peace.”

The 30 March protest was the single deadliest day in the Israel-Palestine conflict since the 2014 Gaza War. Today, some 1.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza are registered refugees, according to the United Nations.

Tveit called for prayers and solidarity with the people of Gaza. “We pray for the victims and their families,” he said, “and we seek God’s mercy, love and grace that we may be empowered with strength to continue our work for  justice and peace.”

I am grateful for this statement and hope some of our religious and political leaders will take note of it as they make their Easter statements.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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