Church leaders urge Canadian government to support ICJ ruling

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

[email protected]

Dear Prime Minister,

Greetings to you from the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

We write together today to continue to urge the Canadian government to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and to fully comply with the January 26, 2024, ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering provisional measures in an interim verdict in South Africa’s case against Israel pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

As the 115th day of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza unfolds, and attacks upon Palestinians increase in the West Bank and Jerusalem, it is urgent that Canada take every step necessary to ensure the safety, wellbeing and security of Palestinians and Israeli hostages in Gaza; secure an immediate ceasefire; demand the safe and sustained provision of all necessary humanitarian relief; and guarantee the safeguarding of all evidence of the incitement to commit and execution of war crimes, ensuring that all parties responsible are held to account.

Inspired by the steadfast faithfulness, resilience, and witness of our regional church partners for peace with justice for all, we have, for decades, joined many Canadians and millions of people around the world in calling for international law to be upheld regarding the devastating impacts of Israel’s ongoing illegal military occupation of Palestinian Territories. We reiterated this call following the horrific Hamas assault on Israeli civilians on October 7, and since, as Palestinians in Gaza continue to be brutalized in Israel’s military assault and siege. All of these actions by Hamas and Israel are violations of international law, and those responsible must be held accountable.

We call on Canada to diligently support all provisions of international law and a rules-based world order. We call on Canada to publicly support the ICJ’s ruling of January 26, 2024, and to do everything in its power to urge the State of Israel to fully comply with the ruling. Failure to consistently support international law allows the powerful to act with impunity, causing great suffering to the most vulnerable, marginalized and powerless people globally.

We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we and our partners can support Canada in living up to its obligation to prevent the crime of genocide where it might plausibly occur, and how Canada can use its influence to push for a ceasefire.


[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.”