Washington, D.C. - October 13, 2023

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Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Joins United Nations in Call Not to Ignore Gazans “Dying at the World’s Watch” 

October 13, 2023
Washington, D.C. 

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is an organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations since 2021.

CMEP and our member communions call for the world not to ignore the catastrophic crisis happening in Gaza, where people are “dying at the world’s watch.” As of Friday morning, October 13, more than 400,000 people in Gaza have already been displaced as a result of Israel’s bombing campaign and military offensive, which Israel’s war cabinet has said will “wipe Hamas off the earth” and Netanyahu has promised will “reverberate for generations.” CMEP condemned the October 7 attacks by Hamas and all violence targeting civilians and supports the United Nations in asserting that the world must intervene not to allow the consequences of displacement, starvation, and death to be placed upon the millions of Palestinian civilians in Gaza who must be differentiated from the actions of Hamas. 

At this critical juncture, Congress and the Biden Administration must not sit idly by as ethnic cleansing unfolds. The United States government must immediately press Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions and rules of war and to allow for the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. CMEP calls for the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Gaza to allow for needed humanitarian aid to flow to populations in critical need. All efforts must be made to protect civilian life and to pursue an immediate ceasefire.

On October 13, the Israeli government announced that the 1.1 million Gazans living in the northern part of the enclave had 24 hours to relocate to the south. CMEP strongly denounces this move - not only would it force people from their homes and communities, it is impossible to move more than one million people logistically and safely in such a short period of time. The southern area also remains under the threat of bombing. As the United Nations notes, such a move is not possible “without devastating humanitarian consequences.” 

People of faith and goodwill can not turn a blind eye to the devastation in Gaza - thousands, if not tens of thousands, or more will die if Israel’s siege of Gaza and the continued bombing campaign continues. We cannot be silent in the face of ongoing collective punishment against the more than 2.2 million citizens of Gaza - of whom more than half are children. Already, more than 500 children have been killed. As the UN reminds us, The time for humanity to prevail is now.”

CMEP calls on all to stand in the G.A.P. - Give. Act. Pray. To give to organizations who are addressing systemic issues and responding to the humanitarian crisis. To act by calling on the U.S. government and elected officials to call for an end to violence, war, and the devastation of human life. And to pray. Join us in our constant prayers on our Prayers4Peace blog, our corporate weekly prayers, and our weekly briefings to keep informed. CMEP affirms today’s statement from the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem on the Escalating Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza and calls on all Christians and people of faith to join in the Day of Prayer and Fasting on Tuesday, October 17. 



CMEP’s Previous Statements on the Hamas and Israel War Can be Found Here

October 12, 2023: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joined 25 other Church-based denominations and organizations in a letter to Congress to call for a ceasefire, restraint by all sides, protection of civilians, and release of hostages.

October 9, 2023: CMEP Implores Restraint, De-escalation of Conflict, Humanitarian Access, and Addressing Core Issues of Conflict Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) continues to grieve the devastating loss of life in Israel/Palestine. As the numbers of those killed and injured climb, we ask people of faith to remain committed to praying and working toward an immediate end to the violence. Yet, cessation of conflict will not automatically bring justice. Without attention to the core systemic issues of the war and the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory, there will be no real peace. At a time when the rush by governments will be for more military responses, CMEP prays for the de-escalation of violence to prevail. We urge an escalation of diplomatic efforts by the United States, through the United Nations, and other regional bodies. Too many people are already grieving the loss of loved ones. 

October 7, 2023: CMEP Condemns All Acts of Violence, Calls for Prayer, and Implores Global Leaders to Address Core Issues of the War between Hamas and Israel: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is deeply grieved by the news coming out of Israel and Gaza today. CMEP condemns all acts of violence against civilians that have occurred in the past twenty-four hours, as fighting has escalated between Hamas and Israel. As of late Saturday (EDT), reports indicated that hundreds have been killed and thousands wounded, both Israelis and Palestinians. CMEP mourns with the victims of the violence and their families.


Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of more than 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.

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