Toronto bishop calls for peace and justice in Middle East

Note: the following is a letter from Archbishop Terence E. Finlay to the Anglicans of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario; it was to be read in church services April 14 and 21.

Dear friends:

The Middle East is torn by conflict, and the land which Jews, Muslims and Christians call Holy is a place of violence, fear and of deepening hatreds.

As effort after effort to secure peace fails, we in North America draw back from divisions which are so deep and, seemingly, so irreconcilable.

Natural as this drawing back is, we as Christians are called not to turn and abandon those trapped in this, but rather to draw near and join in prayer with those who hold the beliefs of Abraham, Mohammed and Jesus Christ.

On behalf of your Bishops, I call on you to set aside time to pray for peace and justice for everyone who lives in the midst of these horrors and hatred, Palestinians and Israelis alike.

I call on you to remember particularly your fellow Anglicans in the Holy Land, Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, and his parishes, hospitals and schools.

I ask you to continue praying for those who have been injured, and that the Peace of God may enter into the midst of this conflict, and reveal new ways forward.

In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

The Most Rev’d Terence E. Finlay
Archbishop of Toronto
Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario

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