LWF Calls for MIddle East Peace

( [email protected] ) Mar 26, 2004 03:17 PM EST

GENEVA – The General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) – the largest protestant denomination in the world with 66 million members, urged for peace among interfaith communities, especially those who live near the volatile Gaza strip, March 26, 2004.

Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko called the recent attacks aimed at civilian targets in Israel as well as the murder of Sheikh Yassia as incidents that can “only be described as abominable.” As a solution to such constant surges of violence, Noko urged the international faith community to consider the roadmap for peace plan initiated by the U.S., Russia, EU and UN.

The following is the full text of the statement as released by the LWF newsletter:

The Lutheran World Federation is appalled by recent events in the Middle East. For so long in a seemingly permanent state of crisis, the situation in Israel-Palestine lately appears to have escalated to an unprecedented degree. The apparent determination of both the Government of Israel and the leaders of some militant Palestinian groups to pursue violence rather than peace undermines every initiative for peaceful co-existence in the Holy Land—a historic home for both the children of Abraham.

The recent spate of incidents in which Palestinian groups used children as carriers of bombs intended for civilian targets in Israel, and the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin by Israeli forces on 22 March 2004, can only be described as abominable. We call on all parties in this conflict to refrain from further violence and counter-retaliation.

We call upon the international community to act decisively, and to implement the two-state solution (the Roadmap peace plan) initiated by the United States of America, Russia, European Union, and the United Nations.