Anglicans Decry Terrorist Strikes on Israel

Solidarity protest on the Pariser Platz in Berlin on the day after the invasion of the Hamas in Israel. | Leonhard Lenz, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Statements by various Anglicans about the deadly attacks on Israeli civilians generally have struck a balanced tone. Two statements, linked from the Facebook page of Episcopal Peace Fellowship, speak from pacifist and pro-Palestinian perspectives and blame the governments of Israel and of the United States.

Multiple statements follow — some in whole and others in part. All are linked to their sources.

Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza Suhalia Tarazi, director

The Ministry of Health has triggered an emergency situation and asked all health-service providers to increase their emergency response capacity. Life in Gaza is paralyzed, with all institutions and private sectors closed, affecting the people’s access to basic needs, particularly health.

Ahli Arab Hospital is committed to continuing to provide 24/7 health services for all people in need of medical care. The role of Ahli Hospital will be highly significant in saving lives during this awful emergency.

In order to ensure that Ahli is able to respond, we are in urgent need of medications and other resources for an emergency response. This is an appeal for emergency aid. Please give what you can, We cannot respond effectively without you. We are in desperate need of medicines, supplies, extra staff, fuel for our generators, and other resources. Your donations are critical right now — please give what you can.

Archbishops of Canterbury and York

We are grieved and deeply concerned at the violence in Israel and Gaza, and we unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas. We pray for those who are mourning, those who are injured, and all those fearing for their safety. We pray for restraint on all sides, and renewed efforts towards a just peace for all. The way forward must be for both sides to build confidence in a secure future through which Israel and its people can live in security within its internationally recognized borders, and Palestinians have their own state and live in their lands in security, and with peace and justice.

CMJ Israel
(Founded as Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People)

Key things to pray for right now are:

  1. For all those who have been injured by rocket fire or terrorist gunfire.
  2. For those who have been kidnapped
  3. That the officials in Israel that will decide how to respond and will be graced with the wisdom of the Lord whether or not they ask for it.
  4. For the perseverance and calm of our staff as we serve our guests and pilgrims, who are often quite frightened. for their safe passage home and for local people who may be needing help as well.
  5. Pray for the upcoming groups scheduled to come — for wisdom in how to proceed.
  6. That the Lord gives our leadership wisdom in the decisions we will need to make in the next hours.
  7. Especially intercede for Micah, Idan, and Daniel, young men from our communities who are part of response teams serving as soldiers or medics in harm’s way. Pray for members of our congregations that have either been called up themselves or have children and grandchildren that are serving in the military and emergency services.
  8. Pray for the residents of Gaza. Through our online ministry in Arabic, we are getting messages from people that we are working with and discipling who are frightened and equally fearful for their lives.

There is much for which to pray. However above all, please pray for God’s sovereignty in these difficult times. May His kingdom come, and may His will be done.

Fellowship of Reconciliation (Nyack, N.Y.)

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is horrified at the new war that has just broken out in Israel/Palestine. FOR, a pacifist organization since its conception in 1914 in Europe and 1915 in the United States, condemns the initiation of this latest stage of violent conflict. In condemning Hamas’s attack launched on Shabbat and Simchat Torah, we are also led to condemn Israel for its decades of occupation, siege, and human rights violations and abuses that have led up to this moment. 

… FOR unequivocally condemns actions of violence that avoid the harder battles of justice. The killing and maiming of civilians, whether by Hamas rockets or Israeli airstrikes, is unjustifiable, a war crime under international law. Also, unjustifiable are the actions of Israel that led to this current war: decades of military occupation with no end in sight, apartheid policies, recurrent massacres, and a siege so brutal that has turned Gaza into the largest open-air prison on earth.

FOR recognizes and condemns the failure of the Biden administration to pursue a peaceful solution to this entrenched conflict while providing Israel with almost $3.8 billion annually in unconditional military aid. Even while pursuing normalization agreements between Israel and Arab countries, the U.S. has not worked to bring an end to the occupation or demanded an improvement in the rights and status of Palestinians. To call Hamas’s actions “unprovoked,” as the White House initially did in a statement today, is to put one’s head in the sand, ignoring decades of settlement building, land confiscation, child arrests, home demolitions, and the like, as well as recent settler and military violence against Palestinians.

Jewish Voice for Peace (Berkeley, Calif.)

Right now, Palestinians, Israelis, and all of us with family on the ground are terrified for loved ones. We grieve the lives of those already lost and remain committed to a future where every life is precious, and all people live in freedom and safety.

Following 16 years of Israeli military blockade, Palestinian fighters from Gaza launched an unprecedented assault, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded, and civilians kidnapped. The Israeli government declared war, launching airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings and threatening to commit war crimes against besieged Palestinians in Gaza.

The Israeli government may have just declared war, but its war on Palestinians started over 75 years ago. Israeli apartheid and occupation — and United States complicity in that oppression — are the source of all this violence. Reality is shaped by when you start the clock.

Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
(including Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum)

The Holy Land, a place sacred to countless millions around the world, is currently mired in violence and suffering due to the prolonged political conflict and the lamentable absence of justice and respect for human rights. We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, have time and again appealed for the importance of respecting the historic and legal Status Quo of the holy shrines. In these trying times, we come together to raise our voices in unity, echoing the divine message of peace and love for all humanity.

As custodians of the Christian faith, deeply rooted in the Holy Land, we stand in solidarity with the people of this region, who are enduring the devastating consequences of continued strife. Our faith, which is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, compels us to advocate for the cessation of all violent and military activities that bring harm to both Palestinian and Israeli civilians.

We unequivocally condemn any acts that target civilians, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or faith. Such actions go against the fundamental principles of humanity and the teachings of Christ, who implored us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

It is our fervent hope and prayer that all parties involved will heed this call for an immediate cessation of violence. We implore political leaders and authorities to engage in sincere dialogue, seeking lasting solutions that promote justice, peace, and reconciliation for the people of this land, who have endured the burdens of conflict for far too long.

In our capacity as spiritual leaders, we extend our hands to all those who suffer, and we pray that the Almighty may grant comfort to the afflicted, strength to the weary, and wisdom to those in positions of authority. We call upon the international community to redouble its efforts to mediate a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land, based on equal rights for all and on international legitimacy.

Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). In the spirit of this divine message, we implore all to work tirelessly towards an end to violence and the establishment of a just and lasting peace that will allow the Holy Land to be a beacon of hope, faith, and love for all.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all during these challenging times.

Bishop Anthony Poggo, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion

As I watch the latest developments from Israel and Gaza, I weep for the peoples of the region and pray for peace. In particular, I pray for the safety of all civilians — whether residents or tourists and pilgrims — and I pray for a cessation of violence.

I also pray for the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Archbishop Hosam Naoum, and other Christian leaders, as they continue to serve their people and work for peace and reconciliation.

“I am in touch with Archbishop Hosam and I want to particularly thank him and his staff for the care they are taking to look after members of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, who are currently meeting in Jerusalem.


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