Press Releases

For Media Inquiries, please contact CMEP at katie@cmep.org, Subject: Media Inquiry.

 

2018 Press Releases

April 9, 2018: Eighteen Religious Leaders Call on Trump Administration to Stand with the Christian Community in Jerusalem and the Holy Land
In response to the continued threats against the Status Quo and sustainability of the Christian community in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, eighteen religious leaders sent a letter to President Trump calling upon his administration to uphold the Status Quo and to protect the vulnerable Christian communities in the Holy Land. Read More

April 5, 2018: Participating in Non-violent Border Demonstrations is Not an Act of Terrorism
The Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) use of live fire to suppress unarmed civilian demonstrators along the Gaza border on Friday, March 30 and over the weekend, constitutes unwarranted and excessive use of military force condemnable under international law. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) denounces the violence, which resulted in 18 fatalities and more than 1,400  casualties, at least 750 of which were from live fire. We fully affirm the right of the Palestinian people to engage in nonviolent resistance. Read More

March 14, 2018: Palestinian Residency in Jerusalem Should Not be Conditional upon Acceptance of the Occupation The Knesset’s vote on Wednesday, March 7, to strip Palestinians in East Jerusalem of their permanent residency status for “breaching loyalty to the State of Israel” imposes undue restrictions on Palestinian political freedoms and threatens to accelerate the displacement of the Palestinian community from Jerusalem. CMEP opposes any legislation which would limit the ability of Palestinians to engage in nonviolent resistance and condemns any actions that would undermine a Jerusalem shared by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Read More

March 12, 2018: CMEP Meets with Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom (IRF)
CMEP and our member Board denominations thank Ambassador Sam Brownback, Office for International Religious Freedom (IRF), for the opportunity to meet last Wednesday, March 7, 2018. CMEP presented our concerns about the tax and land confiscation issues under consideration by the Jerusalem municipality and in the Israeli legislature, respectively. The threats to the Status Quo in Jerusalem ultimately led to the closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in February. CMEP also expressed concerns about President Trump’s intent to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Read More

February 28, 2018: Church of the Holy Sepulchre Reopens: Threats Against the Christian Community Remain
Shortly following Churches for Middle East Peace’s (CMEP) February 27, 2018 Press Release, “The Future of the Christian Church in the Holy Land in Peril,” the Israeli Government announced it had reached an agreement to temporarily postpone the planned collection of taxes on church properties not used as houses of worship; and to suspend consideration of a controversial Knesset bill dealing with leases and the sale of church lands. While CMEP is grateful for the progress allowing the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulchre to reopen so that pilgrims have access to one of Christianity’s holiest sites, we remain gravely concerned. We support and affirm the words of these church leaders and join them in offering our gratitude to all those who have worked tirelessly to uphold the Christian presence in Jerusalem and to defend the Status Quo. Read More

February 27, 2018: The Future of the Christian Church in the Holy Land in Peril
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls upon President Trump and his administration to immediately intervene with the appropriate Israeli authorities to ensure the Jerusalem municipality reverses its decision regarding the collection of illegitimate taxes and to ensure that the “Bill of Church Lands” legislation is permanently withdrawn. Without such action, the Christian community in Jerusalem might soon suffer irreparable damage and eventually cease to exist. These actions of the Israeli government are an existential threat to the future of the Christian church in the Holy Land. Read More

February 9, 2018: Over One Hundred Members of Congress Add Their Names to a Letter Urging President Trump to Reinstate Much-Needed Funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)strongly opposes the Trump Administration’s recent decision to withhold UNRWA funding in that it increases the hardship of the Palestinian people and further hinders the ability to reach a comprehensive peace solution. CMEP stands in support of the Welch-Price letter, and supports the United States’ commitment to security in Israel as well as the safety and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians. We strongly urge President Trump to heed the advice of the Welch-Price letter and fully reinstate U.S. aid to UNRWA. Read More

January 19, 2018: Throwing Mud at Peace Negotiations Does Not Bring Peace Closer
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) firmly opposes the withdrawal of U.S. humanitarian support from the Palestinians, and strongly urges the PLO and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to maintain their recognition of Israel. … Undermining humanitarian aid, unilateral decisions on Jerusalem, and suspending the recognition of Israel will create new fissures in already cracked relationships, moving peace further out of reach and leaving another generation of Israelis and Palestinians to grow up under a perpetual threat of violence and war. Read More

2017 Press Releases

December 5, 2017: Unilateral Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital Constitutes Grave Threat to Future Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace strongly opposes any unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move of the U.S. Embassy without a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. CMEP Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon said, “Rather than being a broker for peace, the U.S. will be undermining trust and making the resumption of meaningful negotiations and achieving a viable solution all the more difficult, if not impossible.” >>Read More

November 15, 2017: Churches for Middle East Peace Strongly Endorses Rep. Betty McCollum’s Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act
Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon said, “CMEP cares deeply about the wellbeing of Palestinian, Israeli, and all children around the world. Neither I nor the organization I represent condone acts of violence. We expect children to be treated with human dignity regardless of their guilt or innocence.” Read More

November 2, 2017: CMEP Delegation Meets With Palestinian President Abbas on 100th Anniversary of Balfour Declaration
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the historic declaration by Lord Balfour of Great Britain that “[viewed] with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The Balfour Declaration also stated “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Read More

October 23, 2017: Churches for Middle East Peace: Pilgrimage to Peace (P2P) Tour with Daoud Nassar
From October 16 to 22 Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) hosted Daoud Nassar for a series of talks about daily life in the West Bank, human rights concerns, and peacebuilding as part of CMEP’s fall Pilgrimage to Peace tour. Over six days, CMEP’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon hosted these conversations with Christian communities at nine events in four cities including: Washington, D.C.; Seattle, WA; Cary, NC; and Wilmington, NC. Read More

September 8, 2017: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Calls on the Palestinian Authority for the Immediate Release of Peace Activist Issa Amro
Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro was detained Monday, September 4, 2017, by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Amro, of the West Bank town of Hebron, had publicly voiced criticism of the PA for having detained Ayman Qawasmeh. Qawasmeh, a Palestinian journalist, had criticized the Authority and called for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to resign. In two Facebook posts from Sunday, September 3, Amro expressed support for Qawasmeh and condemned his detention. … Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls on the Palestinian Authority for the Immediate Release of Peace Activist Issa Amro. We applaud the nine members of Congress who have also called on the PA for Amro’s immediate release. Read More

July, 21, 2017: CMEP Calls for Preservation of Status Quo and De-escalation of Violence in Jerusalem and West Bank
At least three Palestinians have been killed and more than 300 injured in violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Three Israelis were stabbed to death with at least two more seriously injured in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. Today’s violence follows a week of escalations that started Friday, July 14 after two Israeli police officers were shot and killed by three Palestinian citizens of Israel outside the entrance to what is known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is deeply grieved by the deaths of these Palestinians and Israelis. We condemn all acts of violence and call for a return to the status quo. Read More

June 7, 2017: 50 Years Too Long
Churches for Middle East Peace (cmep.org) hosted “50 Years Too Long,” an advocacy event marking 50 years since the Six Day War and the beginning of Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories.  The event took place June 4-6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Participants heard from various speakers on the conflict and ended the event by meeting with their congressional offices. As part of that event an ecumenical letter, signed by the leaders of twenty different Christian denominations and organizations, was sent to President Trump asking him to work for peace and an end to the occupation. Read More

April 7, 2017: U.S Bombing in Syria: Escalating Violence Will Not Bring Peace
Earlier this week there was a chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people. In response to this attack the U.S. launched cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield on Thursday night, April 6, 2017. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is deeply grieved by the deaths of all Syrians in both of these attacks. We respect the human rights of all people in the region, including refugees and displaced people, based on full observance of the Geneva Conventions and other international law agreements. Read More