Co-CEO Statement on Holy Land
I have been to Palestine and Israel five times since 2006. During the first days after the shocking and horrific attack by Hamas on civilians in Israel, I paused from making a statement out of respect for Jewish-led processes of grief. Soon civilians in Gaza and the West Bank were also under attack. I keep thinking about the PEOPLE of the Holy Land.
These past few weeks I have been much in prayer for the PEOPLE of the Holy Land. The PEOPLE of the Holy Land are caught in the middle and are being killed or harmed during a war between Gaza’s Palestinian leadership of Hamas and the State of Israel. Grief, trauma, pain, fear, and confusion are emotions on full display by the PEOPLE of the Holy Land. I have friends and colleagues among the PEOPLE in the Holy Land that are Christian, Jewish, and Muslim in Gaza, Israel, the West Bank, and Lebanon.
As I pray for an end to this war, I first listen to my Christian siblings in the Holy Land who can be found in East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, the State of Israel, and Gaza. As I seek wisdom, I listen to my interfaith friends in Jewish and Muslim communities in the Holy Land. Clearly there is no unity of perspective, nor has there been for the past 75 years of the modern-day conflict. But many of the PEOPLE of the Holy Land want to live in peace as neighbors.
Yet as a Christian, I must hope for …
- the end of the killing and harming of innocent civilians
- humanitarian responses for those trapped in Gaza
- repentance for the killing of the PEOPLE of the Holy Land by the militaries of Hamas and the State of Israel
- justice that leads to freedom and peace for all who call this land their home.
Rev. Dr. Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Co-CEO
Minnesota Council of Churches