Statement on the War in the Holy Land

Statement on War in the Holy Land

On Saturday the world watched in horror as Hamas launched a rapid, devastating barrage of violence against Israel. Rockets, drone attacks, the killing of civilians and the taking of hostages have ignited long simmering tensions between Israel and Palestine. Israel has responded with ongoing rocket attacks and the death toll on all sides rises daily.

Our hearts grieve at the resurgence of violence that bereaves both Palestinian and Israeli families. We long for peace and security for the people of Israel who seek a safe place to live free from discrimination, anti-semitism and repeated pogroms. We long for peace and security for the Palestinian people who also long to live in safety, to thrive free from occupation and discrimination. Neither have found that peace in repeated patterns of hatred and conflict.

We stand with Archbishop Hosam Naoum (Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem) and Bishop Sani Azar (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land) and their people, praying for safety for all who are caught in the middle of this conflict—including visitors and pilgrims. We pray for the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza and the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem seeking to provide medical care to any and all in need amidst the chaos. 

We urge Prime Minister Trudeau and all international leaders to offer whatever they can toward a cessation of hostilities and a lasting, just peace for Israel and Palestine.

In the face of grief and violence we offer this prayer…

God of peace and justice,
Our hearts weep as the rockets fall in Israel and Gaza,
As families are bereaved
As men, women and children are taken hostage,
As anger and hatred are fuelled again.

In the land you chose for your people and your Son we pray
for those bereaved by the violence,
For the wounded and injured,
For the hostages
That your love will surround and comfort them.

We pray for strength and compassion
for all offering medical care, especially our partners, the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital
and Augusta Victoria Hospital.

We pray for Bishop Sani Azar and Archbishop Hosam Naoum and all Christians in the Holy Land for their safety and their leadership in this time of crisis.

We pray for all leaders in Israel and Palestine that a just and lasting peace will be found. 

In the midst of our grief and sorrow we trust in your unfailing love for all people, and
for your Land, and ask that your wisdom would prevail, for we ask in the name of 

Jesus Christ, who brings the world eternal peace.


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

[signed] +Linda Nicholls

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

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.”