Church leaders thank Prime Minister Trudeau for Canada’s support of humanitarian ceasefire

December 14, 2023

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

[email protected]

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

We write today to express our thanks for Canada’s vote on December 12 to support the UN General Assembly Resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Though the resolution, with its additional demands, is not binding, the vote is significant for its moral weight and the glimmer of hope it represents for Israelis, Palestinians and the whole world.   We are grateful for Canada’s alignment with other nations to act now, as the President of the General Assembly said, ‘on one priority -only one- to save lives’. Canada’s recent pledge of $60 million dollars to the work of the UN Relief Works Agency in preparing and delivering aid shipments and other acts of compassion and care will certainly help in this catastrophic time.

We also join many other Canadians seeking your leadership in concrete, concurrent actions toward a permanent peace. We believe it is only through an end to the occupation and a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement that the security of both Palestinians and Israelis can be assured.

From decisions endorsed by our assembled church bodies in June 2023, we call upon the Government of Canada to:

  • take active leadership with other nations to end the illegal Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and West Bank since 1967, including settlement construction and expansion in these territories, and by challenging increasing settler violence, upon Palestinian persons and properties, with the full authority of international laws,
  • make strong commitments to protecting the human rights and safety of children and youth, to closely monitor and report on the treatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, and on the increasing numbers of Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories where a climate of impunity and an almost total lack of accountability persists, and
  • take leadership and support local women’s peace building initiatives as reflected in the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP)and National Action Plan of Women, Peace and Security.

As you know, the effects of the war are devastating, and a ceasefire is essential to addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to building a lasting peace. The members of our churches continue to earnestly pray for peace. Let us all take every opportunity to choose peace and work for peace.

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

[signed] +Linda Nicholls
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate,
Anglican Church of Canada


Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Official Opposition [email protected]
Jagmeet Singh, Leader of New Democratic Party [email protected]
Yves-François Blanchet MP, Leader of the Bloc Québécois [email protected]
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party [email protected]
Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs [email protected] [email protected]
David DaSilva Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority [email protected]
Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem [email protected]
Bishop Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land [email protected]
Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican Communion [email protected]
Rev. Dr. Anne Burghardt, General Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation [email protected].

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”