Media Release

Church leaders urge MPs for stronger advocacy in Palestine and Israel

April 27, 2023

OTTAWA – Leaders of Canada’s mainstream Protestant churches met with government officials today in Ottawa to urge Canada to further advocate for a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; The Rev. Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator of The United Church of Canada and The Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon, Principal Emerita, Knox College, The Presbyterian Church in Canada met with government and opposition MPs to affirm actions already taken by the Government of Canada.

They also discussed several requests regarding the treatment of Palestinian children and human rights abuses in the conflict, including:

  1. Appointing a Special Envoy to promote, monitor and report on the human rights of Palestinian children living in occupied Palestinian territories;
  2. Taking steps to promote greater respect for human rights, and increased protection of Palestinian children;
  3. Holding Israeli military authorities accountable under international human rights and humanitarian laws.

The leaders encouraged the Canadian government to publicly condemn the Government of Israel’s attack on Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, including a partner of The United Church of Canada, the Defense for Children International-Palestine. Other policy requests involved agreement on the status of Jerusalem as a shared and open city for two peoples and three faiths, and to promote the right to self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis.

They also requested caucus members of each party to sign an open letter on Palestinian child detainees, who have no right to a lawyer while being detained by the Israeli military.

Tonight, the leaders will participate in a panel discussion that outlines how churches in Canada are involved in advocating for and with partners in the region, and next steps in the context of a deteriorating human rights situation. The panel was organized by Saint Paul University.

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Joe Vecsi, Director of Communications
Anglican Church of Canada
[email protected]
Cell: 647-869-5833

Callie Long, Associate Secretary for Communications
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
[email protected]
Cell: 647-504-6004

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”