Leaders from several Canadian churches are visiting Ottawa to urge government officials and Members of Parliament to further advocate for a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.
Having already spent time in conversation at Parliament Hill on Wednesday and Thursday, the leaders will hold a panel discussion at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, ON. at 7:00 PM local time on Thursday, April 27.
“Heads of Canadian churches from The Anglican Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, The United Church of Canada and Presbyterian Church in Canada are important civil society leaders,” Member of Parliament, Rev. Rob Oliphant shared in a social media post. “I am happy to host them on Parliament Hill as they updated me and colleagues about the situation in the Middle East faced by both Muslim and Christian Palestinians.”
Taking part in the discussion with government officials and opposition MPs was ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson, the Most Rev. Linda Nicholls (Anglican Church of Canada), the Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne (United Church of Canada) and the Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon (Presbyterian Church in Canada).
“We have a long-standing partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and with other partners in Palestine and Israel, and within Canada,” ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson said. “It is our commitment to all of these partners to raise our voice to call on our government to honour its commitments for peace and justice within the region. This includes upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.”
The leaders encouraged the Canadian government to publicly condemn the Government of Israel’s attack on Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, including a partner of The United Church of Canada, the Defense for Children International-Palestine. Other policy requests involved agreement on the status of Jerusalem as a shared and open city for two peoples and three faiths, and to promote the right to self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis.
The church leaders will reconvene from the amphitheatre at Saint Paul University on Thursday evening for the panel discussion, ‘New Developments in Israel-Palestine and the Role of the Churches’.
Michel Andraos, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University, will moderate the panel.
Those interested in attending, either online or in-person, are asked to register at: https://bit.ly/NewDevelopmentsIsrael-Palestine
The amphitheatre is located at 110 Hazel Street, Ottawa, ON.