September 13, 2011

Looking ahead to the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations this September 2011 and the bid for Palestinian statehood, the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem feel the need to intensify our prayers and diplomatic efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, to consider this as the most appropriate time for such an opportunity, and thus wish to reiterate the following principles upon which we agree:

1. A two-state solution serves the cause of peace and justice.

2. Israelis and Palestinians must live each in their own independent states with peace and justice, respecting human rights according to international law.

3. Negotiations are the best way to resolve all outstanding problems between the two sides.

4. Palestinians and Israelis should exercise restraint, whatever the outcome of the vote at the United Nations.

5. Jerusalem is a Holy City to the followers of all three Abrahamic faiths, in which all people should be able to live in peace and tranquility, a city to be shared by the two peoples and the three faiths.

Thus, we call upon decision makers and people of good will, to do their utmost to achieve the long awaited justice, peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians so that the prophecy of Prophet David is lived again:

“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Ps. 85:10)

Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarchate

Patriarch Tarkom II Manoogian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate

Very Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land

Archbishop Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate

Archbishop Abune Mathias, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate

Archbishop Joseph Jules Zreyi, Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

Bishop Suheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem

Bishop Mounib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and Holy Land

Bishop Pierre Melki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate