Churches for Middle East Peace
trump backs down

Trump Backs Away From Further Military Conflict With Iran
A look at conflict between the U.S. and Iran, reports on settlements, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: In an address to the nation, President Trump spoke about the conflict with Iran after its retaliatory strikes on two bases housing American troops, and announced new economic sanctions against Tehran. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

trump backs down

Trump backs away from further military conflict with Iran
NY Times

“President Trump backed away from further military action against Iran and called for renewed diplomacy on Wednesday as the bristling confrontation of the past six days eased in the aftermath of an Iranian missile strike that seemed intended to save face rather than inflict casualties. ‘Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,’ Mr. Trump said in a televised statement from the Grand Foyer of the White House, flanked by his vice president, cabinet secretaries and senior military officers in their uniforms. ‘The United States,’ he added, ‘is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.’” 

Image: In an address to the nation, President Trump spoke about the conflict with Iran after its retaliatory strikes on two bases housing American troops, and announced new economic sanctions against Tehran. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

iran rockets

Iran launches over a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq

“Iran launched missile attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq early on Wednesday (January 8) in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing last week raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. It was Iran's most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and Iranian state TV said it was in revenge for the U.S. killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whose death last week in an American drone strike near Baghdad prompted angry calls to avenge his slaying. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the missile strike on the U.S. bases in Iraq a ‘slap in the face’ of the Americans, adding that military retaliation is not sufficient. ‘The corrupt presence of the U.S. in the region should come to end,’ he said.”

Image: Rockets launched from Iran against the US military base in Ein-al Asad in Iraq, January 7, 202. (AFP)

war powers resolution

House passes War Powers Resolution in effort to restrict Trump's actions against Iran

“The House of Representatives approved a resolution that would force President Trump to seek consent from Congress before taking new military action against Iran. The move comes nearly a week after President Trump greenlighted a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general and led to increased tensions with Tehran. The nonbinding war powers resolution was approved in a mostly party-line vote of 224-194. Only three Republicans and one independent joined Democrats to pass the measure. Eight Democrats opposed it. The Senate could consider a similar measure — but one that has the force of law — as early as next week, but it is unclear if it has enough votes to clear the chamber. The House vote also comes after briefings for lawmakers on Wednesday from top Trump administration officials left Democrats — and some Republicans — unhappy with a lack of transparency about what fueled the decision to strike the Iranian general.” 

Image: President Trump maintains he has the power to take action against Iran under previous war authorizations passed by Congress. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP in the News:

CMEP has been busy over the holidays responding to situations in the Middle East and at home. Check out our latest articles to familiarize yourself with our take on what’s happening.


Register for the June 2020 CMEP Summit Today!

Join us in the Washington, D.C. area June 21-23, 2020. This year’s theme is Equal in God’s Eyes. Click FAQ to learn about discounted hotel options.


Action Alert: Tell Congress: Say No to War with Iran! 

The assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani the military commander of Iran’s Quds Force by the U.S. on January 2, has significantly increased tensions with Iran, opening up the very real possibility of war.  A war with Iran would only further destabilize the region and lead to the deaths of countless people. Right now, your elected officials need to hear loudly and clearly that Congress must do everything in its power to prevent war with Iran. 



Hoping our Orthodox community members had a festive Christmas! Please remember CMEP in your holiday giving.

demolitions 2019

Israeli confiscations, demolitions of Palestinian homes up 45 percent in 2019, UN figures show

“Last year saw a 45-percent increase in demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian homes in the West Bank compared to 2018, according to figures released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. A total of 393 Palestinian structures were destroyed or confiscated in Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and military control, compared to 271 structures in 2018. Of these structures, 116 were contributed by international agencies. The number of people removed from their homes also spiked in 2019 to 507, compared to 218 the previous year. Of the structures demolished or confiscated, 128 were agricultural, 99 were inhabited and 53 were water pipes, wells or toilets.” 

Image: A woman checks the family house of Palestinian assailant Islam Abu Humaid after it was demolished by Israeli forces, in El Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, October 24, 2019. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)


Evangelical churches and the Palestinian Authority: A new opening in Jesus' backyard
Christianity Today

“I find it ironic that where Jesus was raised—in the backyard of his earthly life—Evangelical churches were disallowed status to marry, own buildings, and even have a bank account. The good story is that which once was, no longer is. The good news came in November by way of Pastor Munir Kakish at the WEA’s General Assembly in Indonesia. He told me the story and then opened a leather-bound folder. There, he proudly showed me, was the signature of President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA). What I saw was what many Christians for 12 years had prayed for. This declaration gives legal status and governmental recognition to a national alliance called Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land. And this is a very big deal."

Image: Town of Yeruham, Israel. (Toa Heftiba)

atallah hanna

WCC expresses profound sorrow and prayers for Archbishop Atallah Hanna

“The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed concern and sadness over the threats against Archbishop Atallah Hanna, he was poisoned in his church residence in Jerusalem in December. The Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna was reportedly hospitalised on 18 December after being poisoned by chemical substances. The Archbishop has been a strong critic of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians according to the International Law; he has also been outspoken about Israel’s activities inside neighboring Lebanon and Syria.”

Image: Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. (Al-Bushra)


CMEP's Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP's behalf.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 311 | Washington, District of Columbia  20002
(202) 543-1222 |

Follow Us