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Leaders praise government’s decision to reinstate funding to UNRWA

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We write to extend our appreciation for the government’s decision to reinstate funding to UNRWA with its critical role in the region, and again to urge the government of Canada to act wherever possible to facilitate an end to the large-scale violence in Gaza, the release of the hostages and Palestinian political prisoners and detainees, and to provide humanitarian relief to civilians trapped in Gaza.

There is a critical need for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. The utter destruction of Gaza and the ongoing loss of civilian lives, especially children, is utterly unacceptable. We urge the Canadian government to stop sending military equipment to Israel that contributes to this war. Canada must stop being a party in any way to this ongoing massacre of civilians.

We know that some food aid has been air-dropped into Gaza but that it is a poor substitute for the needed ceasefire and capacity to bring truckloads of food and medical aid into the territory. A human catastrophe of starvation and death is underway because aid cannot be delivered quickly and effectively.

The desperation of the people of Gaza is evident in the swarming of a food aid truck in late February. A full independent investigation is needed into the circumstances surrounding the killing of so many of the people there at the time. The lack of accurate and reliable information regarding the facts is concerning. Canada must use its voice to ask for a transparent and independent investigation of the circumstances.

We realize that Canada is not a major international power in the current crisis. However, Canada has a moral obligation and duty to support the values of justice and fairness that are not evident in the violence unfolding in Gaza. Canada must speak and act in accordance with its obligations under international law consistently – in international fora and in the public square. Furthermore, Canada must ensure that Canada is not contributing in any way to the continuation of this egregious devastation.

Our prayers are raised for the hostages, for imprisoned and detained Palestinians, and their families – for the civilians of Gaza bombarded on all sides – and for leaders around the world who must speak up and act now.


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

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

[signed] Carmen Lansdowne
The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne
The United Church of Canada


cc. 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]
Lisa Stadelbauer, Ambassador of Canada to Israel, [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.”