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Franciscan Friary
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Urgent Peace Appeal

From 13 Heads Of Christian Churches

JERUSALEM. The thirteen heads of the Christian churches in Jerusalem have issued an appeal for an "urgent conclusion to the conflict affecting the lives of thousands in this land" addressed to the "Israeli Government, the Palestinian Authority, World Leaders (Secular and Religious), as well as to all men and women of goodwill."

The heads of the Christian communities, voice their concern "for the mental and bodily well-being of all the citizens of this Holy Land, Christian, Muslim, and Jew":

"We believe that the violence which has intensified over these past months will only end when both parties in the conflict make a determined effort to respect each other's rights whilst affirming the dignity and worth of every human life, man, woman, and child. We are convinced that peace-seeking negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians are the only assured way of providing for the well being of all our peoples.

"We would respectfully request protection for all our people in order to assist the re-establishment of mutual trust and security for Israeli and Palestinian. Further we would call on all peace-loving people from around the world to come and join us in a manifestation of just peace.

"Furthermore, we would ask for even greater assistance from our brothers and sisters abroad-- Governments, Aid Agencies, as well as Churches and private individuals-- for those in need in the areas of conflict. Despite all the kind help to date (for which we express sincere gratitude) many are desperate for food, clothing, shelter, and the like. In this appeal for help we would call to mind the words of Jesus when He said 'In as much as you do this for the least of these my little ones, you do it for me.' (Matt 25:40) In a few weeks all the Christians of the world will celebrate together the commemoration of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died to offer the world God's forgiveness and encourage reconciliation He rose again to offer the world fullness of life. We firmly believe that now is the time to establish forgiveness and reconciliation on all sides in order to work for fullness of life for every citizen of this Land."

For Catholics the appeal was signed by Patriarch Michel Sabbah of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Ignatius VIII Pierre Abdul-Ahad, Syrian Catholic Patriarch; Father Giovanni Battistelli of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land; Andre Dikran Bedoghlyan, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate; Maximus Sallum, Greek Catholic (Melkite) Patriarchal Exarchate; and Paul Nabil Sayyah, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate. The Orthodox were represented by Archimandrite Cornelius, Locum Tenens, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate; Patriarch Torkom II, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate; Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate; Swerios Malki Mourad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate; Abba Gabriel, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate. Protestants were represented by Riah Abu Al-Assal, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem & the Middle East and Mounib Younan, Lutheran Evangelical Church.

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