WCC asks for solidarity with churches in Gaza

By staff writers
January 24, 2008

In a statement issued yesterday, the heads of churches in Jerusalem and the Holy Land called on the international community and the state of Israel to end the current siege on the Gaza Strip which has caused most recently cuts in electricity and limited the shipments of medicine, fuel, food and other goods across the border.

The statement says the siege of Gaza has effectively imprisoned one and a half million people without proper food or medicine.

The church leaders stress that "this is illegal collective punishment, an immoral act in violation of the basic human, natural as well as international laws. It cannot be tolerated anymore. The siege over Gaza should end now."

The statement urged Palestinians to unite in ending their differences for the sake of the people in Gaza and urged Israel to act responsibly.

In a letter, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev Dr Samuel Kobia called on the Council's 347 member churches around the world to pray for the end of the suffering in Gaza and speak out for the people in Gaza to their governments.

"Address your parishes, the public, your governments and the embassies", Kobia writes, "calling for an end to the siege, an end to their collective punishments and a negotiated ceasefire".

The letter urges churches to manifest solidarity with the churches in Palestine by supporting the work done by local churches on the ground and church-related agencies like Action by Churches Together.

Kobia also suggests sending messages of support directly to the local churches.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.