After a visit to the region, a delegation of Methodist representatives expressed horror at the military occupation of the Palestinian people.
“We witnessed the bitter fruits of military occupation that have fallen disproportionally upon the Palestinian people,” said a statement of the delegation, which was made up of leaders of the World Methodist Council, the British Methodist Church, and the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. “We heard stories of families being separated, the denial of basic human rights, inequality of treatment, and the need for the Palestinian people to have a voice in the process of governing their own lives and future.”
The group’s visit marked the seventh anniversary of the opening of the Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem, jointly sponsored by the three organizations. The delegation visited with individuals, churches and partners. Their goal was to further the office’s mission of engaging the world Methodist family in Christ’s ministry of peace, truth, justice and mercy among all peoples living in the land, in partnership with the Palestinian Christian Community.
The text of the full statement follows:
STATEMENT ON OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE
We witnessed the bitter fruits of military occupation that have fallen disproportionally upon the Palestinian people. We heard stories of family separation, the denial of basic human rights, inequality of treatment, and the need for the Palestinians to have a voice in the process of governing their own lives and futures. In Gaza, the lack of provision of basic services such as electricity and clean water have reached a point of crisis.
We understand that this is a critical time in history and for the pursuit of a just peace between Palestine and Israel. Global generational shifts, economic changes, issues of climate justice, and the current international political discourse churn on the horizon like a great storm.
We see the beauty and resilience of the people of the land, even in a time where it feels that all optimism could be lost. Despite this feeling, many look toward the future with hope, and they appeal to the world to stand with them in solidarity.
We have seen the suffering of the indigenous Christian community. We join their call to everyone to act decisively to support nonviolent actions for peace and justice for all – Palestinians and Israelis.
We will continue to pray for all people in the region, and to remain there, through our Methodist liaison office, in order to walk in solidarity with those of all faiths who seek justice, peace and equal rights through nonviolent actions.
Blessed are the peacemakers.
Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary, The World Methodist Council Rev. Dr. Jong Chun Park, President, The World Methodist Council Thomas Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church Doug Swanney, The Connexional Secretary, The British Methodist Church