The Church in Wales bishops are calling for peace and reconciliation in Israel and Gaza.
In a joint statement issued today (Oct 31), the bishops, including the Archbishop of Wales, warn that violence will not lead to lasting peace and they call for the “active exercise of compassion” for all Palestinian and Jewish people.
They describe Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 as “morally repugnant” and unjustifiable and call for Israel to recognise that “retribution, violence, and innocent suffering” cannot lead to peace. They also urge a pause in the attacks on Gaza for humanitarian aid to get through.
The bishops ask people to take part in a day of fasting and prayer on Friday (November 3) and for special prayers to be said in churches on Sunday.
Bishops’ statement on the Israel-Gaza conflict
The Bishops of the Church in Wales are deeply moved and challenged by the horror and violence seen in Israel and Gaza in this last month. The suffering of hostages and the traumatising of ordinary children and families will already last for years beyond this conflict.
We lament the suffering and pray for peace. We long to see the Israeli and Palestinian peoples discover the path to transcend the current hostilities and to find the will to live in harmony, since the way of violence can never be the route to reconciliation and lasting peace. We call now for the active exercise of compassion for all Palestinian and Jewish people in the midst of their suffering and for concrete action, by all those willing to hear, to open the way for peace. In particular we urge:
- A recognition by all that the actions of Hamas on 7th October cannot be justified and were morally repugnant.
- A recognition by the State of Israel that peace in the Middle East cannot be established on the foundations of retribution, violence, and innocent suffering, however provoked.
- A recognition by Jewish Israelis and Muslim and Christian Palestinians that their own prosperity cannot be founded on the desolation of their perceived enemies.
- A pause in the attacks in Gaza to allow necessary supplies to arrive to those most in need. We support the efforts of the UK and Welsh governments in this regard.
- Engagement by all people of goodwill to advocate the path of peace upon those in power, by writing, if possible, to governments and power brokers.
- The donation of money and resources to those who work for medical and peaceful healing in Gaza, through such intermediaries as the Friends of the Holy Land. The Church in Wales has sent a donation of £5,000 from its Overseas Mission Fund.
- A day of fasting and prayer for peace in the Middle East on Friday, 3rd November, and corporate prayer in all our churches on Sunday, 5th November, details of which will be circulated shortly.
+Andrew Cambrensis (The Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Bangor, Andrew John)
+Gregory Llanelwy (The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron)
+Cherry Mynwy (The Bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann)
+John Abertawe ac Aberhonddu (The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Lomas)
+Mary Llandaf (The Bishop of Llandaff, Mary Stallard)
Dorrien Davies, Bishop Elect of Tyddewi (St Davids)