OTTAWA – Leaders of Canada’s mainstream Protestant churches met with government officials today in Ottawa to urge Canada to further advocate for a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; The Rev. Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator of The United Church of Canada and The Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon, Principal Emerita, Knox College, The Presbyterian Church in Canada met with government and opposition MPs to affirm actions already taken by the Government of Canada.
They also discussed several requests regarding the treatment of Palestinian children and human rights abuses in the conflict, including:
- Appointing a Special Envoy to promote, monitor and report on the human rights of Palestinian children living in occupied Palestinian territories;
- Taking steps to promote greater respect for human rights, and increased protection of Palestinian children;
- Holding Israeli military authorities accountable under international human rights and humanitarian laws.
The leaders encouraged the Canadian government to publicly condemn the Government of Israel’s attack on Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, including a partner of The United Church of Canada, the Defense for Children International-Palestine. Other policy requests involved agreement on the status of Jerusalem as a shared and open city for two peoples and three faiths, and to promote the right to self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis.
They also requested caucus members of each party to sign an open letter on Palestinian child detainees, who have no right to a lawyer while being detained by the Israeli military.
Tonight, the leaders will participate in a panel discussion that outlines how churches in Canada are involved in advocating for and with partners in the region, and next steps in the context of a deteriorating human rights situation. The panel was organized by Saint Paul University.
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Joe Vecsi, Director of Communications
Anglican Church of Canada
Callie Long, Associate Secretary for Communications
The Presbyterian Church in Canada