Statements issued by regional and national communities seeking a “just peace” are more biblically profound than similar humanitarian appeals.
As civilian casualties in the war between Israel and Hamas mount in Gaza, 16 evangelical alliances and communities are calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
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However, their November 1 statement of lament, repentance and condemnation goes deeper.
“We call on the Church and people of faith to increase and intensify just peace efforts in the region that promote restorative justice in the region, and to do so while showing empathy and humility,” the group of evangelical Christians said, according to Christianity Today. “Peace can only be achieved when cycles of violence are broken and when both perpetrators and victims are freed from their sinful desire for revenge.”
It was signed by the regional associations of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, including representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Nepal, Qatar, South Africa and Sri Lanka, as well as and the Arabic-speaking alliance in Europe.
The statement acknowledged its “incomplete” understanding of geopolitical complexities and God’s eschatological purposes, deplored the tragic loss of life, deplored the lack of support for peacekeeping operations, and condemned the world community for failing to “ensure compliance” with international humanitarian law.
However, the joint appeal issued by the WEA branches in India and Latin America was clearer even in areas where other Christian statements on the war were criticized for inadequacy.
The alliance condemned all forms of anti-Semitism, called on Hamas to release all hostages and dismissed as “regrettable and reprehensible” the “largest single-day killing of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust.”
At the same time, however, he notes that “Israel has caused more civilian casualties in its pursuit of Hamas.” The document framed the violence in the context of a “decades-long” conflict in which “without ensuring justice, equality and prosperity for all in the Holy Land, no group of people will achieve safety.”
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-red- Date: November 8, 2023 Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Gaza War