March 2024 Cover Letter to President Biden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 26, 2024

CONTACT:
Logan Bayroff, West End Strategy Team
lbayroff@westendstrategy.com 516-965-5159

In New Letter, 140+ Global Christian Leaders Call for Permanent Gaza Ceasefire, Halt of Arms Sales to Israel

An international letter was organized by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a coalition of more than 30 national church communions and organizations working to encourage U.S. policies that actively promote just, lasting, and comprehensive resolutions to conflicts in the Middle East. CMEP has forwarded the critical letter directly to President Biden and his team. The cover letter to President Biden can be found below.


The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 
Washington, D.C. 20500

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 

Dear President Biden: 

As U.S. Christian leaders, we, the members of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), write to convey to you a letter signed by over 100 Bishops and Executive Leaders from churches, denominations, and church-based organizations worldwide. The letter expresses with utmost urgency the need for an immediate and permanent ceasefire as well as an end to additional military support and arms to Israel as it continues its military offensive in Gaza. We remain deeply dismayed by the decision of the Administration and Congress to cut U.S. funding to UNRWA and ask for an immediate reversal. As U.S. Christian leaders, we implore you to have the moral courage to end U.S. complicity in the ongoing violence and, instead, do everything in your power to prevent the potential genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Every day without a ceasefire brings more death and destruction. We also recognize that Palestinians in the West Bank have also been victims of increased settler and state violence. We fear this will only increase as Israel continues to expand settlements at a rapid rate, including the recent announcement of the appropriation as state land of nearly 2000 acres of Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley–the largest annexation of land in decades. 

Sunday, March 24th, marked the beginning of Holy Week for Protestant and Catholic Christians around the world, and as Orthodox Christians continue the beginning of their Lenten Season. As Western Christians observed the sacred tradition of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem prior to his walk down the Via Dolorosa, thousands of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank were barred by Israel from traveling to Jerusalem to participate in worship. We have significant concerns about the privileging of Jewish worship in the sacred city and the degradation of religious freedom. We advocate for Jerusalem to be a shared city for two peoples and the three Abrahamic traditions, Jews, Christians, and Muslims where all people can worship freely. 

For months, we have joined the voices of millions worldwide, calling for an immediate ceasefire and the flow of adequate humanitarian aid. The decision to abstain from, instead of vetoing, the recent UN Security Council Resolution supporting an immediate ceasefire is a small step but still not sufficient. Mr. President, we urge you to use the tools you already have at your disposal to ensure the U.S. military aid to Israel is halted until Israel can guarantee it is not used to violate Palestinian rights and until Israel stops willfully blocking humanitarian assistance into Gaza. We offer prayers of wisdom and guidance for you to be granted the courage to finally end U.S. complicity in the violence in Gaza and the West Bank. The time to act is now. Might you have the moral courage. 

We pray God will give you wisdom and courage. 

In Christ Jesus, 

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, on behalf of the Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Board 

Executive Director
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)