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December 1, 2023: CHRISTIANS FROM HOLY LAND COME TO DC TO ADVOCATE FOR PEACE AND COMPREHENSIVE CEASEFIRE. Three Palestinian Christians from Jerusalem and Bethlehem came to D.C. this week. One of their key purposes was to hand deliver a letter signed by several Palestinian Christian pastoral leaders from across denominations from the West Bank city of Bethlehem addressed to President Joseph Biden.
November 22, 2023: WHITE HOUSE CANDLELIGHT PRAYER VIGIL. We welcome the recent announcement about the release of 50 hostages and a parallel prisoner exchange, in addition to the desperately needed few days cessation of violence. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to insist that a long-standing bilateral ceasefire comes to fruition. The civilian population in Gaza continues to suffer from a desperate need of basic life saving supplies such as water, food, gas, and medical aid. President Biden not only has the responsibility as a world leader, but a moral obligation, to save as many human lives as possible and the only way to do that is to end all violence between Hamas and Israel through a permanent ceasefire. – Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, executive director, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
November 20, 2023: MEDIA ADVISORY FOR PRESS INVITATION NOVEMBER 20, 2023, 6:00 PM EST. Updated Press Release from our November 16th release which further outlines all participating.
November 16, 2023: WHITE HOUSE CANDLELIGHT PRAYER VIGIL CALLING FOR CEASEFIRE AND END TO VIOLENCE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS. A candlelight prayer vigil led by national Christian leaders calling for a ceasefire and an end to all violence between Israel and Hamas. The speakers and sponsoring organizations are in agreement calling for a bilateral ceasefire, immediate and adequate humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and the release of hostages. All are welcome.
November 9, 2023: MEDIA ADVISORY FOR VIRTUAL PRESS BRIEFING: IMPLICATIONS OF ARMING THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT
As casualties mount in Israel-Palestine and the U.S. Congress considers a $14 billion request for additional weapons for Israel, at least one U.S. official has resigned and leading human rights organizations are calling for a halt to arms transfers into the conflict, at times focused on specific weapons systems. Faith groups are also pressing for a change in the U.S. approach. This press briefing is meant to give interested media an update on findings on how weapons are being used in the conflict and the reasons behind these calls. We anticipate that some groups may have new data to share during this briefing. This briefing is for media only. Read a summary of the press briefing here.
March 30, 2023: Press Release: CMEP’s Executive Director’s Recent trip to Israel/Palestine
Following a recent trip by our executive director to Israel/Palestine, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is more concerned than ever about the rapid erosion of democratic values in Israel and increased violence in the occupied Palestinian territories.
September 16, 2022: Press Release: In Memoriam – Gerry Lee
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) grieves the news of the passing of Gerry Lee and stands alongside our member organization friends at Maryknoll as they respond to the loss of their friend.
August 5, 2022: Press Release: In Memoriam – Dr. Ron Sider
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) grieves the news of the passing of Dr. Sider and stands alongside our member organization Christians for Social Action (CSA) as they respond to the loss of their founder and friend.
June 23, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Announces New Board Member Organization
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is pleased to announce the addition of Community of Christ (CoC) as CMEP’s newest member communion.
May 23, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace’s Executive Director Participates in Religious Leader’s Peace Delegation to Ukraine
CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, joins fifteen global religious leaders in an emergency just peace mission to pray and stand in solidarity in Kyiv, Ukraine.
May 12, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Affirms Need to Protect Historic Status Quo in Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan
On May 9, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) had the privilege of convening, in partnership with the Jordanian Embassy in the U.S., a roundtable discussion between His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and distinguished ecumenical American Christian leaders.
May 4, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Announces New Mobilization Manager
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes Brian Evans as the Mobilization Manager.
April 28, 2022: CMEP’S Catholic Advisory Council Announces the Fr. Drew Christiansen Holy Land Lecture Series
Hosted by Churches for Middle East Peace’s (CMEP) Catholic Advisory Council (CAC), the lecture series promotes education and advocacy among American Catholics and other Christians about realities in the Holy Land while promoting U.S. policies that contribute toward the need for a just and lasting peace.
April 6, 2022: In Memoriam – Father Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) received the news on April 6, 2022, that Jesuit priest and CMEP Leadership Council member, Father Drew Christiansen, S.J., passed away as a result of heart complications. We are deeply grieved by this news.
March 3, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Announces New Outreach Manager and Other Staff
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes several new staff including: Jennifer Maidrand as the Outreach Manager, Rev. Aune M. Carlson as the Director of Operations, and Michael Robinson as the Financial Manager.
October 18, 2021: CMEP Announces its Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations
CMEP is pleased to announce that it has been granted special consultative status as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN). Special consultative status allows for an NGO to engage with the ECOSOC, the Human Rights Council, and, at times, the General Assembly and the United Nations Secretariat. As an NGO with special consultative status, CMEP will have the privilege of designating official representatives to the UN Headquarters in New York and UN Offices at Geneva and Vienna, as well as offering expert information, advice, and statements to the Council on topics related to faith, justice, and peace in the Middle East.
July 21, 2021: CMEP Announces New Manager of Middle East Partnerships
CMEP is pleased to announce the transition of CMEP Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow (AWCF) Kevin Vollrath into his new role as Manager of Middle East Partnerships. In his new role, Kevin will establish and cultivate relationships with CMEP partners on the ground in the Middle East.
March 15, 2021: CMEP Announces Strategic Reorganization of Directors
Seeking to respond to changing landscapes in the events and media space, CMEP is pleased to announce Nicole Morgan and Katie McRoberts’ transition to new positions within the organization. As the new Director of Programs and Events, Nicole Morgan will be responsible for CMEP’s programmatic operations. Katie McRoberts will transition to Director of Communications and Operations.
December 15, 2020: CMEP Announces New Manager of Middle East Partnerships
CMEP welcomed Ravenel Khashram as the Manager of Middle East Partnerships in late November 2020. As Manager of Middle East Partnerships, Ravenel will focus on helping to establish and cultivate relationships with CMEP partners on the ground.
December 8, 2020: CMEP Announces New Board Member Organization
CMEP is pleased to announce the addition of Lott Carey Foreign Missionary Society (Lott Carey) to CMEP’s member communion board.
October 2, 2020: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Affirms The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Petition to UN Experts to Hold Turkey Accountable for Violating Cultural and Religious Rights
CMEP affirms the recent petition to the United Nations by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which seeks to “hold the Republic of Turkey accountable for its deliberate policies to erase the cultural heritage of Orthodox Christians.”
April 19, 2020: CMEP Appoints Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations
CMEP is pleased to announce the promotion of Kyle Cristofalo as our new head of D.C. office and Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations and special advisor to the executive director. Kyle has been with CMEP for three years, previously serving as the Director of Advocacy and Government Relations.
June 28, 2019: US & Palestinian Christians Meet; Affirm What Would Make Peace
In a special consultation hosted by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and Bright Stars of Bethlehem, convened in cooperation with the National Council of Churches (NCC), World Council of Churches (WCC), and the Diyar Consortium, and building on previous engagement, US and Palestinian Christians addressed the current context in Israel/Palestine, the US-sponsored economic workshop in Bahrain, and the elements necessary to reach a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Read More
June 24, 2019: CMEP: Kushner’s Foreign Investment Plan Is No Substitute for Palestinian Freedom
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) believes a political solution that grants the Palestinian people their full freedom and right to self-determination is a necessary prerequisite to economic prosperity. Even the most thorough and well-planned economic development proposals will ultimately fail if this most basic condition is not met. Read More
April 5, 2019: CMEP Praises Passage of Resolution Removing U.S. Armed Forces from Yemen
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday, April 4, 2019, to pass a joint resolution directing the President to remove all U.S. armed forces from supporting the Saudi-led coalition’s war effort in Yemen. CMEP praises this bipartisan vote as a promising step toward addressing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis that has left 80 percent of Yemen’s 28 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Read More
March 19, 2019: DCMEP: Grieving for Attacks on Places of Worship
Delaware Churches for Middle East Peace (DCMEP) is in solidarity with the Muslim community of Delaware in this time of horror and grief brought about by the terror attack on the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Our prayers are indeed offered for those murdered in Christchurch as well as their families and community. We grieve for them, and we grieve that once again hate and bigotry have been served by an awful act of terror. Read More
October 28, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Stands in Solidarity with the Jewish Community in the Face of Tragedy and Condemns Anti-Semitism
Once again, we are reminded of the terrible consequences of hate and prejudice. This time by the deadly attack upon the worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As this is being written, it is reported that 11 people have been murdered and a number wounded, including police officers. We at CMEP join with others in assuring our Jewish sisters and brothers of our solidarity with them, and our condemnation of those who exercise their hate by seeking to diminish others, even unto death. Read More
October 18, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Condemns the Merging of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Jerusalem
Today the U.S. Secretary of State announced the merging of the U.S. consulate with the U.S. Embassy that is now in Jerusalem. Secretary Pompeo, in his statement remarked, “…we plan to achieve significant efficiencies and increase our effectiveness by merging U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem into a single diplomatic mission.” Read More
September 25, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Applauds Senate Letter in Support of U.S. Assistance to Palestinians and UNRWA
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) applauds Sens. Chris Van Hollen (MD), Dianne Feinstein (CA), and Chris Coons (DE) for their letter calling the Trump Administration to reverse its decision to cut $200 million in USAID funded programs in the West Bank and Gaza and a complete end to U.S. funds for UNRWA. Signed by 34 Democratic senators, the letter makes clear the devastating impact these funding cuts will have on the most vulnerable Palestinians, including those who rely on the congressionally appropriated funds to receive emergency food assistance, medical services, education and access to clean water. CMEP believes the withholding of such funding will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and lead to further destabilization in the West Bank and the region as a whole. Read More
April 26, 2018: US Government’s Human Rights Report Intentional Omission of the Status of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights as Occupied Territories Deeply Problematic
The U.S. Department of State’s 2017 annual human rights report released on Friday, April 20, significantly reduced references to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights as the occupied territories. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) objects to this notable change in State Department language and sees the omission of the identification of Occupied Territories in the title of the report as deeply problematic. CMEP calls upon the State Department to consider all reports of human rights violations in the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights within the context of Israel’s ongoing military occupation, as they have done under all previous administrations since 1979. Read More
April 10, 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 4, 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 7, 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
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