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Presiding Bishop and Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem join religious leaders in letter to Secretary Kerry

March 21, 2014
The Public Affairs Office

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori joined 41 other religious leaders in this country and Jerusalem in signing a letter to United Sates Secretary of State John Kerry pledging to help “you in every way we can in building a secure and just peace.”

This marks the first time the Anglican, Catholic, Coptic, and Lutheran heads of churches in Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Places have joined with the leaders of U.S.-based Christian denominations and groups to support urgent efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The text of the letter follows:


Secretary John Kerry

The State Department


Dear Mr. Secretary,

As Christian leaders, we commend you for your active efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the long--‐standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians with the mutual recognition, dignity, justice, and security that each side deserves.

Given the difficulties involved, a framework for conclusive negotiations seems an essential step if there is to be progress towards a final status agreement. Without progress now, we fear an important opportunity for peace will be lost.

Lack of a resolution will have negative consequences for both Israelis and Palestinians and exacerbate other grave problems in the region. Failure would have detrimental consequences for the entire international community, including the United States, as well as exacerbate ongoing humanitarian concerns. We hope that the framework will be based on principles of international law.

The preservation and welfare of the Christian communities affected by this conflict are important to us.

A comprehensive agreement should greatly strengthen opportunities for them to flourish. Moreover, the support and inclusion of all three Abrahamic faiths is critical as they will have an important role to play in promoting the peace process.

Recalling the blessedness of peacemakers, we pray for your success and pledge to help you in every way we can in building a secure and just peace.


Most sincerely,


His Beatitude Fouad Twal

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem


Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm

Custos of the Holy Land

Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land


His Grace Dr. Anba Abraham


Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem & the Near East


Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib A. Younan


Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land


Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani

Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem

Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East


Archbishop Vicken Aykazian

Armenian Orthodox Church of North America


Rev. Donald H. Ashmall

Council Minister

International Council of Community Churches


Rev. Geoffrey Black

General Minister and President

United Church of Christ


Dr. Joel Boot

Executive Director

Christian Reformed Church in North America


Tony Campolo

Professor of Sociology at Eastern University

Red Letter Christians


Archbishop of Oklahoma City Paul S. Coakley

Chairman of the Board

Catholic Relief Services


Rev. Dr. Tom De Vries

General Secretary

Reformed Church in America


Paula Dempsey

Director of Partnership

Alliance of Baptists


The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Very Rev. John Edmunds, ST


Conference of Major Superiors of Men


Adam Estle

Executive Director

Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding


Rev. Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley

Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention


The Rev. David Guthrie

President, Provincial Elders' Conference

Moravian Church in America, Southern Province


Rev. Dr. Stephen Allen Hayner

Columbia Theological Seminary


Dennis Hollinger


Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary


Rev. Dr. Joel C. Hunter

Senior Pastor

Northland, A Church Distributed


The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church


Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim


Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church for the Eastern USA


Mark Labberton, PhD


Fuller Theological Seminary


Gerry Gardner Lee


Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns


Dr. Ron Lush


Global Initiatives, Inc.


Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Archbishop Emeritus of Washington


Reverend John L. McCullough

President and CEO

Church World Service


Rev. Dr. Alex Roy Medley

General Secretary

American Baptist Churches USA


Rev. Dr. Bruce Norman Merton


International Council of Community Churches


Sister Janet Mock, CSJ

Executive Director

Leadership Conference of Women Religious


Stanley J. Noffsinger

General Secretary

Church of the Brethren


Reverend Gradye Parsons

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


Bishop Richard E. Pates


U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace


Very Rev. John Puodziunas, OFM


Franciscan Friars (OFM) English Speaking Conference


Executive Secretary Diane Randall

Executive Secretary

Friends Committee on National Legislation


Bob Roberts

Senior Pastor

NorthWood Church


Metropolitan Philip Saliba


Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides

Director of Ecumenical Affairs

Greek Orthodox Church of America


Jim Wallis

President and Founder



Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins

General Minister and President

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)


Bishop Rosemarie Wenner

President, Council of Bishops

The United Methodist Church


James Winkler

President and General Secretary

National Council of Churches





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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer