The compassionate actions of human beings, not their claims against each other, reflect the will of God and the transforming power of Jesus the Prince of Peace, say the heads of the churches in Jerusalem this Christmastide.
Pope Benedict gave his support and prayers to a major peace conference that will gather in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, tomorrow, seeking steps toward a sustainable solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Long-time Middle East expert Dr Harry Hagopian, Ecumenical, Legal & Political Consultant to the Armenian Church in the UK, assesses the prsopects of the Annapolis for peace with justice in Israel-Palestine.
Students, academics, human rights campaigners and a Jewish peace group have protested loudly at the decision of the Catholic University of St Thomas, Minnesota, to cancel a campus visit by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, because he has criticized Israeli government policy.
Transformational diplomacy is not about entrenching Western interests in Palestine-Israel, says Michael Marten. It is about encouraging advice from regional experts, engaging with ‘the enemy’, treating Occupier and Occupied as such and working towards a just resolution.
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, plans to visit member churches and Christian communities in the strife-ridden occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.
At a church service in Jerusalem on Sunday, Christian leaders called for an end to 40 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and emphasized the church's commitment to non-violence in the service of peace.
The head of the United Church of Canada has written to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging his government urgently and immediately to resume financial support to the Palestinian Unity Government - in the face of a wide boycott.
In addition to long-term work involving a substantial investment of time, training and commitment, Christian Peacemaker Teams sends short-term (7-14 day) delegations into crisis settings around the world.