Village of Silwan below Mount Zion.
Village of Silwan below Mount Zion. Photo CC-BY-3.0 Gilabrand/Wikipedia

National Bishop, Primate write PM Trudeau following synagogue shooting in East Jerusalem

Note: This letter was sent to addressees on January 27, 2023.

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We write to you less than two weeks after our letter of January 17, 2023, regarding the desecration of the Protestant cemetery on Mt. Zion, to again raise our voices in response to escalating violence in Israel and Palestine. Today, we express our sorrow and condemnation of the January 27 attack on a synagogue in East Jerusalem. As religious leaders, we are particularly grieved that this murderous brutality was directed towards terrorizing people at prayer. We mourn with the families of those who have been killed and pray for those who are wounded. We stand in solidarity, on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, with the Jewish community in Canada and around the world, and firmly decry all forms of antisemitism and religiously motivated hate wherever it occurs.

We are also aware that these and similar acts are happening within a wider context of escalating tensions in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, including the violence just a day earlier in Jenin. We implore you and your government to continue to advocate with the current Israeli government to promote de-escalation through a reversal of increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and policies, and to encourage similar commitments from the Palestinian Authority to advancing safety for all. Canada must live up to the entirety of its existing policies on peace in Israel and Palestine and take a more active role in the international community in affirming the necessary conditions for peace and security for both Israeli and Palestinian citizens. We continue to be open to discussing these matters with you.


[signed] +Linda Nicholls

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate, ACC

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop, ELCIC



The Hon. Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
[email protected] 

The Hon. Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P., Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition
[email protected]

Jagmeet Singh, M.P., Leader of the New Democratic Party
[email protected]

Yves-Francois Blanchet, M.P., Leader of the Bloc Québécois
[email protected]

Lisa Stadelbauer, Ambassador of Canada to the State of Israel
[email protected]

David Da Silva, Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority
[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.”