WCC, Pax Christi, YMCA to Convene for Peace in Palestine, Israel

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is set to convene a joint advocacy initiative for peace in Palestine and Israel Mar. 12-19.

For one week, church groups from across a dozen countries will join members from the International Pax Christi and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) networks at the event being hosted by the WCC. People from Oslo, Cape Town, Toronto and Jerusalem among others will join concerned groups to lobby parliamentarians, hold public meetings, observe vigils and plant olive trees as a symbolic act calling for peace.

The various activities have been arranged with the focus of signaling to policy-makers and public audiences the churches’ conviction that a “just and equitable resolution of the conflict is now more urgent than ever.”

The initiative has been firmly backed by numerous patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem calling Christians from all regions of the world to join in the week “to make a public witness for peace.”

The supporting message states: “Now as the situation continues to deteriorate and opportunities for peace are forsaken it is crucial for Christians to make their voices heard vigorously in the public arena.”

The landmark week will be launched on Mar. 12 in Jerusalem with a joint service of prayer.

During the week other activities will take place such as a solidarity visit with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPTs) in Hebron, a candlelight march at the Separation Wall, and a planting day that is part of an Olive Tree Campaign.