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An Open Letter In Response To The Crisis In Israel-Palestine

As a community committed to the work of peace, we have been praying for Israel-Palestine, but it also felt important that we say something outside our own walls, so here is an open letter from the church in response to the crisis.

Over the past two months we have watched with sadness and horror the events unfolding in Israel-Palestine, both the direct violence and the humanitarian disasters that accompany it. We grieve every life lost, every family torn apart, every trauma inflicted.

We lament and condemn too the way the conflict has spilled over into antisemitic and Islamophobic abuse around the world, and we send love to our Jewish and Muslim neighbours, who we know will be feeling the pain of these days with particular sharpness.

Even before the horrendous attacks by Hamas on October 7, and the devastating response by Israel in the weeks since, we prayed for peace and justice in the region, and that continues to be the focus of our prayers.

We give thanks for the peacemakers and negotiators who made possible the release of hostages and detainees and the distribution of much needed aid last week, and we add our voices to those calling on both the Hamas leadership and the Israeli government to agree a permanent ceasefire and a lasting peace that brings freedom and dignity to all.

A few words from a small church in a distant country may not seem to be worth very much, and we have not spoken so openly until now because it has been hard to know what to say, but if each of us speaks peace in the face of war then perhaps we may create for ourselves a kinder and gentler world.

Peace - Shalom - Salaam -

from the community at Stoneygate Baptist Church

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