Church leaders thank Prime Minister Trudeau for Canada’s support of humanitarian ceasefire

On Thursday, December 14, leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and The Anglican Church of Canada wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

National Bishop Susan Johnson and Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls expressed gratitude for the Prime Minister’s supportive vote at the UN General Assembly Resolution in demand of an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Read the full letter below, or download it in PDF form here.

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

We write today to express our thanks for Canada’s vote on December 12 to support the UN General Assembly Resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Though the resolution, with its additional demands, is not binding, the vote is significant for its moral weight and the glimmer of hope it represents for Israelis, Palestinians and the whole world.   We are grateful for Canada’s alignment with other nations to act now, as the President of the General Assembly said, ‘on one priority -only one- to save lives’. Canada’s recent pledge of $60 million dollars to the work of the UN Relief Works Agency in preparing and delivering aid shipments and other acts of compassion and care will certainly help in this catastrophic time.

We also join many other Canadians seeking your leadership in concrete, concurrent actions toward a permanent peace. We believe it is only through an end to the occupation and a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement that the security of both Palestinians and Israelis can be assured.

From decisions endorsed by our assembled church bodies in June 2023, we call upon the Government of Canada to:

  • take active leadership with other nations to end the illegal Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and West Bank since 1967, including settlement construction and expansion in these territories, and by challenging increasing settler violence, upon Palestinian persons and properties, with the full authority of international laws,
  • make strong commitments to protecting the human rights and safety of children and youth, to closely monitor and report on the treatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, and on the increasing numbers of Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories where a climate of impunity and an almost total lack of accountability persists, and
  • take leadership and support local women’s peace building initiatives as reflected in the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP)and National Action Plan of Women, Peace and Security.

As you know, the effects of the war are devastating, and a ceasefire is essential to addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to building a lasting peace. The members of our churches continue to earnestly pray for peace. Let us all take every opportunity to choose peace and work for peace.

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

[signed] +Linda Nicholls
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate,
Anglican Church of Canada