ACNS 2955 - PRIMATES' MEETING - 14 April 2002

 Statement of Anglican Primates on the Middle East

 We, the Primates of the Anglican Communion representing 75,000,000
Anglican Christians in 164 countries of the world, gathered in Canterbury, have
taken counsel following a message concerning the escalating conflict in
 Israel/Palestine which we received from the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem
the Right Reverend Riah H Abu El-Assal. This was delivered to us by the
 President Bishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, the
Most Reverend Iraj Mottahedeh.

 We are deeply shocked and saddened by the spiralling violence which is
 creating more widows, orphaned children, mourning fathers and mothers, and
 which is intensifying hatred and bitterness on both sides of the conflict.
 We pledge our solidarity with all who have suffered loss of life, injury,
 and destruction of property in the area.

 We denounce the shelling, suicide bomb attacks, and military incursions as
 both evil and futile. We see no way in which such acts can lead to peace
 with justice and security for the Holy Land and its peoples.

 We urge the leaders of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian
Authority to act without delay to break the spiral of retaliation on both sides of
theconflict. Every death puts resolution, reconciliation and justice further
 off. In particular, we urge the Government of Israel to cease activities
in the occupied territories that threaten the lives of so many innocent
 civilians and put the human rights of so many communities at risk. We also
 call for an end to suicide bombing and for a clear condemnation of the
 morality of such acts from leaders of all faiths in the Middle East.

 We fully endorse The First Alexandria Declaration of the Religious Leaders
 of the Holy Land (21 January 2002) which declares that according to the
 Muslim, Christian and Jewish faith traditions, the killing of innocents in
 the name of God is a desecration of his Holy Name, and unite ourselves to
 the pledges and commitments of the religious leaders contained in the
 statement.

 We call upon Anglicans and people of good will everywhere to unite in
 earnest prayer for an end to the violence and bloodshed.

 We pledge our prayerful support to all Christian people, the Patriarchs
and Heads of Churches and the leaders of other faiths in Jerusalem.

 We commit ourselves and our Churches to support the efforts of all
 religious, national and international leaders who are seeking a just
peace.

 Canterbury
 14 April 2002

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