May 16, 2022: CMEP Condemns the Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and Calls on US Government to Investigate Murder of the Palestinian-American Journalist
CMEP calls on the United States to ensure a fair and independent investigation into Abu Akleh’s murder and to hold the responsible parties accountable.
May 2, 2022: CMEP Welcomes Bipartisan Congressional Letter Supporting the Jerusalem Christian Community
CMEP welcomes a bipartisan Congressional letter urging the protection of religious freedom in Jerusalem, organized by Reps. Castro (D-TX) and Bilirakis (R-FL) and signed by Reps. McGovern (D-MA), Harris (R-MD), Hill (R-AR), Eshoo (D-CA), Speier (D-CA), and Malliotakis (R-NY).
April 28, 2022: CMEP Joins Christian Faith Leaders in Writing to Congress in Support of Palestinian Children and Families Act
CMEP Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, joined 24 other Christian Faith leaders in a letter to all members of Congress in support of HR 2590, The Palestinian Children and Families Act. The letter was made public during a virtual event featuring Congresswoman McCollum and Christian faith leaders, including three from Minnesota, on Tuesday, April 26. The video of the event is viewable here.
April 27, 2022: CMEP Opposes Violations of Status Quo and Calls for Commitment to Religious Freedom
CMEP calls on Secretary Blinken and the Biden Administration to support the Status Quo at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount and protect the religious freedom of all who call Jerusalem holy.
April 20, 2022: CMEP Joins Coalition Calling for an End to All U.S. Support for the War in Yemen
CMEP joined over 60 National Organizations in a letter to Congress calling for an end to all U.S. support for the war in Yemen.
April 14, 2022: CMEP Stands with the Churches of Jerusalem and Prays for the Safety of All Spiritual Pilgrims
CMEP stands in solidarity with the sacred churches of Jerusalem, opposes the police restrictions, and prays for the safety and the ability of all spiritual pilgrims to be able to worship freely in Jerusalem during this holy season.
April 6, 2022: CMEP Stands with the Churches of Jerusalem and Condemns the Illegal Seizure of the Little Petra Hotel
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) stands in solidarity with the sacred churches of Jerusalem and condemns this illegal capture of the hotel.
March 31, 2022: CMEP Calls on the Biden Administration to Oppose Palestinian Displacement in Al-Walaja
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls on the Biden Administration and Congress to support fair and equitable urban development opportunities for Palestinians and to ensure the displacement of Palestinians in Al-Walaja does not proceed.
March 25, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Condemns the Murder of Four Israelis in Beersheba
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemns the murder of four Israelis in Beersheba by an Israeli citizen of Bedouin ethnicity, who had previously been affiliated with ISIS.
March 1, 2022: CMEP Supports the Statement of Peace and Fraternity from US and European Catholic Bishops in support of the Church and People of Lebanon
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls attention to the ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon and recognizes the crisis as one of the greatest economic catastrophes of our time. CMEP lauds the US and European Catholic Bishops for their message and stands with them in their support of the church and the people of Lebanon.
February 24, 2022: CMEP Stands with Church Leaders Opposing Plan to Designate Parts of the Mt. of Olives as a National Park
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joins these church leaders in calling for the withdrawal of this plan.
February 17, 2022: CMEP joins over 40 Civil Society groups urging Congress oppose designation of the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joins civil society organizations to urge Congress to publicly oppose a Foreign Terrorist Designation (FTO) of the Houthis in Yemen and communicate their opposition to the Biden administration.
February 17, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) sign Civil Society letter to Secretary Blinken on UNRWA funding
CMEP joins 17 Civil Society Groups in Thanking Biden Administration for Restoring Funding to UNRWA.
January 29, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls for prayer for Nassar Family and Tent of Nations
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls for prayer for the Nassar Family and the Tent of Nations after yesterday’s horrific incident. On the afternoon of January 28th, a large group of masked men carrying sticks and iron bars attacked Daoud and Daher Nassar when Daoud was feeding the chickens. A friend of the Tent of Nations witnessed the attack, and the attackers fled when they saw her.
January 20, 2022: CMEP Strongly Opposes the Demolition of the Salhiya Family Home in Sheikh Jarrah
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly condemns the demolition of the Salhiya family home and urges the Biden Administration to intervene to end the forced displacement of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah.
January 13, 2022: CMEP Celebrates the Release of Coptic Christian Egyptian Activist Ramy Kamel
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) celebrates the January 8, 2022 release of Coptic Christian activist Ramy Kamel after he spent two years being held in pre-trial detention in Egypt.
December 14, 2021: CMEP joins the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches of Jerusalem in acknowledging the “Current Threat to the Christian Presence in the Holy Land”
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) remains committed to supporting the sustainability of Christianity in the Middle East in general, and in particular to promoting a shared Jerusalem by Palestinians and Israelis.
November 29, 2021: Joint letter of opposition to arms sales to Saudi Arabia
Churches for Middle East Peace joined 46 organizations urging members of Congress to oppose the Biden administration’s $650 million arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The letter also expressed support for the joint resolutions of disapproval introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Rand Paul seeking to block the sales from proceeding.
November 17, 2021: CMEP Joins Over 70 National Organizations Calling on Congress to Require Reporting on the Impact of the Blockade on Gaza
CMEP joined the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), J Street, and the Arab American Institute (AAI) in urging Congress to support Sen. Bernie Sanders’ amendment to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calling for a report on the humanitarian impact of the blockade on the people of Gaza.
October 28, 2021: CMEP Supports Biden Administration’s Opposition to the Israeli Government’s Approval of New Settlement Construction
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes the Biden Administration’s opposition to recent actions of the Israeli Government, expressed publicly and privately in conversations between senior officials from both governments. In the past week, the Israeli Government has launched several provocative actions that individually and collectively are a threat to peace in Israel/Palestine. Should these stand, they would also undermine the Biden Administration’s stated policy opposing any unilateral measures that could damage the prospects for a two-state solution.
October 28, 2021: CMEP Joins 14 Churches and Church-Based Organizations in Calling on Secretary Blinken to Oppose the Israeli Government’s designation of Palestinian Human Rights Groups as Terrorist Organizations
We write to you as Churches and church-based organizations to express our significant concerns about the recent Israeli decision to label key Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations.” Our shock and anger echoes the concerns raised by groups like Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, and over twenty Israeli human rights and peace organizations.
October 26, 2021: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Strongly Opposes Designation of Palestinian Human Rights Groups as Terrorist Organizations
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly opposes the Israeli Defense Ministry’s decision issued last week to declare six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations. The named organizations include: Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. Many of these human rights organizations work closely with the international community to develop Palestinian civil society, document human rights violations, and defend Palestinians in Israeli courts.
September 29, 2021: CMEP Celebrates Rep. Khanna NDAA Amendment to End US Support for the Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen
Last Thursday, September 23, the cause of peace won an important victory in the halls of the U.S. Congress on the road toward ending the years of war that have produced nothing but suffering for Yemen and the region. The House passed an amendment to the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that CMEP supports and has worked for, to prohibit U.S. logistical support, intel sharing, maintenance, and spare parts for the Royal Saudi Air Force conducting operations in Yemen for years.
September 17, 2021: CMEP Statement on New Lebanese Government and the Economic Crisis in Lebanon
CMEP acknowledges that the current financial crisis in Lebanon represents one of the greatest economic catastrophes of our time.
June 8, 2021: CMEP Joins Over 100 National Organizations Calling on President Biden to Halt New Weapons Sales to Israel
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations focused variously on human rights, peacebuilding, and the protection of civilians, write in opposition to the United States government’s plans to sell $735 million in advanced weapons systems and munitions to Israel. The planned arms sales to Israel would send a signal of support for Israel’s recent conduct in occupied Gaza and East Jerusalem, which includes likely violations of international humanitarian law. Read More
May 25, 2021: CMEP Applauds Ceasefire, Urges Resolution to Underlying Issues
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) applauds the much-needed ceasefire between the State of Israel and Hamas which began Friday, May 21. During the two weeks prior to the ceasefire, 12 Israelis and at least 230 Palestinians were killed. We uplift in prayer all families in Israel-Palestine who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Every moment without bombings and rockets saves innocent lives. Read More
May 20, 2021: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) signs letter to the UN Security Council calling on an immediate ceasefire
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of CMEP, joined more than 50 other church leaders from North America and Europe calling on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to secure an immediate ceasefire to the current violence in Israel/Palestine. The letter also urges the UNSC “to act immediately to address the continuing underlying causes of injustice that will otherwise remain a constant threat to peace in the Holy Land: occupation, land dispossession, displacement, and the withholding of basic human rights we take for granted.” Read More
May 10, 2021: CMEP Condemns Violence in Jerusalem and Calls for the Biden Administration to Intervene Immediately
The U.S. cannot play a positive role in helping to bring a peaceful end to the conflict in Israel/Palestine where all people living in the land are treated equally and with respect unless we can acknowledge the primary drivers of the ongoing occupation and use diplomatic pressure to help to bring about its end. Read More
April 29, 2021: CMEP Joins 12 Other Groups Calling for US to Oppose Impending Demolitions in East Jerusalem
If carried out, these demolitions and forced displacement actions will cause untold suffering for Palestinians and undermine the prospects of a just and lasting peace for all. Read More
April 24, 2021: CMEP Lauds President Biden’s Historic Announcement on Armenian Genocide Day
On this Armenian Remembrance Day (Meds Yeghern), CMEP lauds President Biden’s historic statement about the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide. Read More
April 16, 2021: CMEP Endorses New Legislation on Palestinian Rights
HR 2590 would ensure no U.S. funds to Israel are used to detain or mistreat Palestinian children; seize and demolish Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank; or facilitate the unilateral annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank by the Israeli government. Read More
April 8, 2021: CMEP Applauds Biden Administration Announcement on Reinstatement of Aid to Palestinians
CMEP welcomes the announcement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on April 7th that the Biden Administration will soon restart economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians in a manner fully consistent with current U.S. law. Read More
March 9, 2021: 28 Church Leaders Write to President Biden Outlining Key Middle East Policy Recommendations
In the letter the leaders share their vision for a rights based foreign policy writing, “We seek to encourage a US foreign policy in the region that addresses these and other issues in a fair, just, and consistent way. As faith leaders it is our duty to speak up on behalf of those who suffer injustice. We believe peace and justice in the world is also the duty of the United States and of all nations.” Read More
February 10, 2021: Blinken State Department Must Engage Opportunities for Diplomacy and Reopen the Consulate General in East Jerusalem
We are aware that much more must be done to truly build a diplomatic relationship with Palestinian leadership based on trust and mutuality. The United States must take real steps to ensure it is not seen as a dishonest broker. Read More
January 21, 2021: Faith Groups Urge Biden to Re-establish a White House Faith-Based Office
The voice of the faith community provides an important component in the deliverance,
planning and implementation of policy and can inform the writing of legislation. People of faith
see engagement with government as a fundamental part of the workings of democracy. Read More
January 20, 2021: A Letter to the CMEP Community on Inauguration Day
CMEP is eager and ready to work with this new administration and continue our work where there is policy alignment in holistic peacebuilding, supporting economic and humanitarian assistance, and human rights while working toward peace and just resolutions to conflicts in the Middle East. Read More
December 21, 2020: Now Is the Time for Sustaining Peace Between Armenia and Azerbaijan
On November 9, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a ceasefire to end fighting in the Caucasus. Although the ceasefire is fragile, and false starts at peace may occur, now is the time for building a new future. Now is the time to put away the guns, the angry rhetoric, the desires for revenge, and the claims of victory and betrayal. Now is the time for peacemakers. Read More
December 17, 2020: CMEP Denounces the Occupation’s Disproportionate Impact on Palestinian Children
Under the current Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands, Palestinians of all ages living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza live without the same civil rights enjoyed by the Jewish Israeli citizens in both Israel and the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Palestinian children and youth are among the most vulnerable demographic affected by the realities of the occupation. Read More
December 11, 2020: CMEP Joins 16 Faith Groups in Letter to President Elect Biden
Earlier this week we joined 16 Faith groups in a letter to President-elect Biden. The letter calls upon President-elect Biden to “invest in new approaches that build towards a future where human rights violations are ended and there is equality between Palestinians and Israelis. Read More
December 9, 2020: CMEP Responds to Jerusalem Church Attack
CMEP stands in solidarity with the Christian community in the Holy Land, and with the Roman Catholic congregants of the Church of all Nations, as well as other religious minority groups, as they face attacks and discrimination. We are committed to working toward a future in which all people in the Middle East can worship without fear of persecution.” Read More
November 20, 2020: CMEP Condemns Secretary Pompeo’s Labeling Announcements
These actions by Secretary of State Pompeo are further evidence that this Administration is not an honest broker when it comes to the pursuit of Middle East peace. Read More
November 10, 2020: CMEP Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon mourns the passing of Dr. Saeb Erakat
On November 10, 2020, Saeb Erakat, a Senior Palestinian official who served as the top negotiator with the Israeli government, died due to complications of the coronavirus. Throughout his long career, Mr. Erakat worked tirelessly to advance peace between Israel and Palestine. Upon his passing, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace provided the following statement. Read More
October 29, 2020: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Affirms Pope Francis’ call for peace in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti
On October 4th, 2020, the Holy See Press Office published Pope Francis’ most recent encyclical which he entitled Fratelli tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship. The encyclical, which is addressed to “all Christians and people of good will,” bears teachings that are relevant to the work of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). We are grateful for the leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis and affirm the words of his encyclical as he calls for us to work towards justice and peace. Read More
August 14, 2020: Prime Minister Netanyahu Agrees to Temporarily Suspend Annexation
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) affirms the announcement that Israel’s Prime Minister has decided to suspend Israeli annexation in the West Bank in return for normalization of relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Annexation is an atrocious idea, with terrible consequences for both Palestinians and Israelis. It would lock in the Occupation: reinforcing enduring oppression and violence and precluding equal human rights for all. Therefore, CMEP continues to call for the government of Israel to abandon altogether its plans for annexation. Read More
July 3, 2020: Christian Leader letter to Republican and Democratic National Committees Urging Changes to Israel/Palestine section of Party Platforms
CMEP Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon joined over 30 Christian clergy and lay leaders from across the country in two letters to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions regarding their party platforms on Israel/Palestine. The letter called for the parties to ensure their respective platforms include “both a commitment to Israel and its security and a commitment to Palestinian rights. It should include clear opposition to ongoing occupation, settlement expansion and any form of unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank.” Read More
June 4, 2020: 27 Church Leaders Write to Congress opposing unilateral annexation of the Occupied West Bank
CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, joined 26 church and Christian organizational leaders in a letter to members of Congress opposing the unilateral annexation of significant portions of the West Bank. In the letter, the leaders call on “Congress to wield its power of the purse and not allow any United States funds provided to Israel to be used for the recognition, facilitation or support of annexation…” Read More
April 29, 2020: CMEP Opposes Israeli Annexation and Secretary Pompeo’s Greenlighting on Behalf of U.S.
Unilateral annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank is in direct contravention of international law and conventions, and would likely mark the end of any possible just and lasting resolution to the conflict. If Congress fails to act now, the United States will bear a significant amount of responsibility for the continued disenfranchisement of Palestinian rights and for the continuation of the conflict. Read More
April 13, 2020: CMEP Affirms United Nations and the Vatican’s Calls for Global Ceasefire
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) applauds UN Secretary General António Guterres’ March 23 call for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the globe. The ceasefire is especially critical in the Middle East as an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic by reinforcing diplomatic action, creating conditions for the delivery of life-saving aid, and bringing hope to places where people are the most impoverished and vulnerable. Read More
March 18, 2020: CMEP Supports House Vote in Favor of Iran War Powers
On March 11, the House passed by a bipartisan vote of 227-186 legislation which would prohibit any military interventions in Iran unless explicitly approved by Congress. Introduced and passed in the Senate with bipartisan support in February, members of Congress are sending a clear message to the White House for the need to de-escalate tensions with Iran and pursue non-military options moving forward. While President Trump is likely to veto, the strong support for these measures demonstrate Congress is taking its role as the body to authorize military action. Read More
March 2, 2020: Call to Congress to Support Funding for UNRWA and Bilateral Programs in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in 2021
For many decades, Congress regularly appropriated funds to ensure the needs of vulnerable Palestinians would be met. Humanitarian aid should never be withheld to achieve political goals. The denial of humanitarian assistance to those who are most in need is contrary to humanitarian principles and undermines the goal of shared security for all people in the region. Read More
February 25, 2020: Letter to Congress: Peace to Prosperity Plan Perpetuates Violence, Fear, Discord
We affirm the need for strong—but fair— U.S. leadership to help encourage a future in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security with both peoples truly flourishing. It is in this spirit that we write to share our deep disappointment with the Trump Administration’s announced “Peace to Prosperity” proposal. Read More
January 28, 2020: CMEP’s Executive Director Responds to the Trump “Peace” Plan
The proposed plan would further entrench the Israeli security establishment, ensuring that generations of Israeli young men and women will serve in a military tasked with continuing control of the Palestinian people. The inevitable result will be more human rights abuses, trauma, and violence. Read More
January 3, 2020: Faith Statement on Escalating Violence with Iran
As people of faith, we condemn the United States’ dangerous aggression towards Iran, including the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deployment of additional troops to the region. We urge the Administration to step back from the brink of war. Read More
November 20, 2019: CMEP Applauds the E.U.’s Labeling of Settlement Products and Strongly Opposes the U.S.’ Subsequent Recognition of Settlements
In the pursuit of a just and durable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, CMEP recognizes that it is imperative to acknowledge that the settlement enterprise stands in stark opposition to the goals of peace and justice. Anything other than fierce opposition to the support and expansion of settlements only solidifies and prolongs the conflict. Read More
September 17, 2019: CMEP: Church Leaders Share Vision for Peace in Israel/Palestine; Condemn Annexation
On the heels of the Israeli election and with the U.S. Administration preparing to release the political component of its purported Peace Plan for Israel/Palestine, 22 Christian leaders, including Churches for Middle East Peace Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, wrote to the President outlining their recommendations for US policies that would help bring about a just and lasting end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. A full copy of the letter, including signatories, is copied below. Read More
August 15, 2019: CMEP Responds to Israeli decision to not allow Representatives Tlaib and Omar to Visit
On August 15, 2019, the Israeli government announced it would ban two U.S. Congresswomen–Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN) to Israel just days before they were to depart on a Congressional delegation. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly condemns this decision and calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu to reverse this action. Read More
June 12, 2019: Ecumenical Letter to Congressional Leadership on Ending U.S. Support for Civil War in Yemen
Churches for Middle East Peace joined a group of 20 Christian leaders representing national church communions and Christian organizations calling on congressional leadership to continue efforts to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition’s involvement in Yemen’s Civil War and provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen. The letter was also sent to the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate Armed Services Committee, and House Committee on Armed Services. Read More
May 2, 2019: CMEP Strongly Endorses Rep. Betty McCollum’s “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Occupation Act”
On Wednesday, Rep. Betty McCollum introduced H.R. 2407, “The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Occupation Act.” Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly endorses this legislation as a proactive step toward safeguarding the lives of vulnerable children caught in the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Read More
April 25, 2019: Land Idolization and Annexation Sacrifices Human Dignity in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
As a faith-based organization striving above all else for a just peace in the Holy Land, we will continue to press the Trump Administration to make such a substantive offer. We will also continue to elevate the voices of Israelis and Palestinians as the situation evolves so that all possibilities are considered for obtaining the security and self-determination that they deserve as humans created in God’s image. Read More
March 27, 2019: Condemning the Hamas Missile Attack on Civilians and Retaliatory Strikes by the IDF
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemns the firing of a missile by Hamas at Israeli civilians March 25, wounding seven people. CMEP is deeply concerned by the continued violence, including retaliatory bombings by the IDF. We call on an immediate cessation of violence and for both sides to commit to a ceasefire. Read More
March 26, 2019: Recognizing Israeli Annexation of Golan Heights Another Dangerous Example of One-Sided U.S. Policy
President Trump’s decision on Thursday, March 21, to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights–a piece of Syrian territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 war–once again demonstrates the administration’s recklessly one-sided approach to Middle East foreign policy. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) deplores the move as violating one of the cornerstones of post-World War II international law: the illegitimacy of territory gained through conquest. Read More
March 7, 2019: Weaponizing Anti-Semitism Harms Free Speech
Over the past several weeks, the political discourse relating to Israel/Palestine has rapidly deteriorated. We have witnessed members of Congress attack their colleagues by name, making accusations of anti-Semitism, often talking over and distorting what was actually said. As an organization committed to advocating for U.S. policies that will help bring about justice, equality, and human rights for all in Israel-Palestine and throughout the Middle East, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) has been dismayed by the tenor of these conversations. They reflect just how far we are as a nation from helping to foster a sustainable end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. Read More
November 2, 2018: CMEP Affirms “Statement of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land on the Nation State Law Passed by the Israeli Knesset on July 19, 2018”
Churches for Middle East Peace stands by the statement released on October 31 by the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, which echoes many of the concerns we expressed about the passage of the Jewish Nation State Basic Law on July 19, 2018. We affirm with the Ordinaries that as Christians, “We recognize that Jerusalem and the whole of this Holy Land is a heritage we share with Jews and Muslims, Druze and Baha’i, a heritage we are called upon to protect from division and internecine strife.” We applaud their resolve to “call on the authorities [of Israel] to rescind this Basic Law and assure one and all that the State of Israel seeks to promote and protect the welfare and the safety of all its citizens.” Read More
October 31, 2018: Joint Letter to Secretary Pompeo Regarding the Church Land Bill in Israel
The extent to which the Jerusalem Patriarchs and Heads of Churches consider this legislation to be an existential threat cannot be overstated. When the bill was first introduced this past February (concurrently with a proposed municipal tax on church property) the Heads of Churches protested by closing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in a historic act of solidarity. In response, eighteen religious leaders in the U.S., representing a diverse spectrum of Christianity, wrote to President Trump expressing the need to protect the vulnerable Christian community in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Mr. Secretary, all efforts must be made so that a similar crisis may be avoided. Read More
October 11, 2018: Jerusalem Conference: What Makes for Peace?
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joins Bright Stars of Bethlehem, National Council of Churches (NCC), and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in support of statement regarding “Jerusalem: What makes for peace?” Read More
October 11, 2018: CMEP Executive Director Joins Christian Pastors and Leaders Call on U.S. State Department to Support Lara Alqasem
We who are pastors and Christian leaders in the U.S. add our voices to those of many faiths calling for the freeing of detained college student Lara Alqasem. Specifically, we call on the State Department to do its duty to protect the rights of this American citizen, traveling on an American passport with a valid Israeli visa to study at Hebrew University in Israel. “Consular access” is not enough; the State Department needs to make clear that the detention of Ms. Alqasem must end, as she has committed no crime nor has been charged with one by the Israeli authorities. Read More
September 27, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace Joins Letter to President Regarding Cuts to Humanitarian Aid to Palestinians
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joined 17 Christian Denominations and Organizations in a letter to President Trump. In the letter, the signatories called upon the President to immediately reverse the recent decision to cut over $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians as well as cease all US funding for UNRWA. Read More
August 1, 2018: Nation-State Bill Passed by Knesset Raises Concerns
On Thursday, July 19, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the “Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People” bill, one of many Basic Laws that collectively serve as Israel’s constitution. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), while reiterating its support for Israel as a democratic state, expresses its gravest concern over the harm that this new Basic Law will inflict upon Israel’s cultural, ethnic, and religious minorities, which account for 20% of Israel’s population. This law will have devastating effects on the rights of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Palestinians with resident status living in Jerusalem. Read More
May 18, 2018: Trump Administration Needs to Acknowledge Harm Done by Embassy Relocation
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) voices our most vigorous opposition to the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel without equally acknowledging Palestinian claims. The timing of this dedication–coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence and coming the day before both Palestinian Nakba Day and the start of Ramadan–is insensitive at best, and offensive at worst. We express our outrage at this administration for refusing to acknowledge the role this decision played in escalating violence in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 60 people and injury to over 2,200 Palestinians during the week. Read More
May 3, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace Welcomes PLO Re-Commitment to Peace Negotiations, Condemns Anti-Semitic Remarks
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes President Abbas’s renewed commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel and his calls for non-violent popular resistance to Israel’s occupation. CMEP condemns the anti-Semitic and inflammatory remarks and affirms that support for a Palestinian state does not require downplaying historical Jewish suffering or denying their connection to the land. Read More
January 9, 2018: Free Speech is a Cornerstone of Nonviolent Protest
On Sunday, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published a list of 20 organizations whose leaders and activists will not be allowed to enter Israel due to their organization’s support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions are expressions of free speech and forms of nonviolent protest. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is concerned to hear that 20 organizations, including five from the United States, will be prevented from entering Israel due to their support of economic measures against the state of Israel. Read More
December 6, 2017: Advent Statement by U.S. Christian Leaders in Solidarity with Jerusalem Heads of Churches
An ecumenical statement in support of the August 2017 appeal by the Jerusalem Heads of Churches. The signatories stress their concern for religious freedom, free access to Holy Sites for all religions in Israel and Palestine, and reaffirm their vision of a shared, multi-faith Jerusalem for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Read More
February 8, 2017: CMEP to President Trump on the U.S. Embassy
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges President Donald Trump not to move the U.S Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as the move would be an obstacle to peace and would undermine U.S. credibility as a facilitator in peace negotiations.
September 2016: Letter from Christian Leaders to the Presidential Candidates
Churches from Middle East Peace (CMEP) and twenty-one other American Christian leaders call on the presidential candidates to, will if elected, take urgent and vigorous new steps to seek creative political solutions that will foster a just and lasting peace and help each party to realize self-determination with necessary confidence building measures to build mutual security.
April 20, 2016: Pursuing Peace and Strengthening Presence: The Atlanta Summit of Churches in the USA and Holy Land
“We have come together in this unique first-time large scale Summit for Christian churches and church-related organizations from the USA and the Holy Land following the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ on peacemaking, the dignity owed to all created in God’s image and kindling the hope that some day there will be a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land.”
August 28, 2015: CMEP to Sec. Kerry on Cremisan Valley
As Israeli authorities continue to build a separation barrier wall across the Cremisan Valley, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls on Secretary John Kerry to instruct the State Department spokesperson to say that in the interest of reducing conflict, it is the view of the United States that unilateral impediment of access to Palestinian lands imposed by Israel or unilateral seizure of Palestinian lands by Israel without mutual agreement of the parties, is illegal and unacceptable
June 29, 2015: CMEP to President Obama Concerning Settlement Language and Resolutions for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges President Obama and the administration to make clear that the U.S. views Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine not merely as “illegitimate” and “foolish,” as it has already said, but also “illegal.” CMEP also insists the administration clearly reject language in bills now passed or pending in the Congress that deliberately includes settlements in measures designed to support Israel.
May 20, 2014: CMEP to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem concerning Price Tag attacks
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) stands with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem after recent graffiti attacks on the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem and joins the Patriarch in calling for increased efforts by the Israeli authorities to find the perpetrators of these crimes and bring them to justice
March 19, 2014: Christian Leaders commend Kerry’s Efforts to Reach a Comprehensive Agreement to End Conflict
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and 42 Jerusalem and U.S Christian leaders pledge support for Secretary Kerry’s efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement and call for a framework for conclusive negotiations as an essential step towards a final status agreement.
July 22, 2013: Church Coalition Welcomes Talks Breakthrough
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) congratulated Secretary Kerry, as well as courageous Palestinian and Israeli leaders, for the announcement that negotiators are expected to meet in Washington to resume direct negotiations on terms for the establishment a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure and democratic State of Israel.
April 26, 2013: CMEP Condemns Abduction of Syrian Bishops
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly condemned the kidnappings on April 22 of two Orthodox Bishops near Aleppo, Syria and called for the immediate and unconditional release of these Bishops.
March 14, 2013: CMEP to the President on March Trip to Israel and West Bank
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to President Barack Obama on the Eve of his visit to the Holy Land to urge President Obama to seek firm commitments from leaders on both sides to re-engage in a peace process rooted in a just resolution of the conflict, universal security and recognition for both Israelis and Palestinians, an end to all forms of violence, and peaceful co-existence.
January 7, 2013: Christian Leaders Letter to President Obama Urging a New Beginning for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges President Barack Obama to bring the full energies of the Administration to bear toward facilitating a just, durable, and final negotiated agreement to end the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict as he embarks on his second term in office.
November 30, 2012: CMEP Letter on Senate Amendments
On November 30th, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) sent a letter to one hundred senate offices urging them not to vote on amendments S. 3254, The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) namely SA 3171, SA 3139, and SA 3203, that would severely limit or eliminate US assistance to the Palestinian Authority under various conditions
November 16, 2012: Churches for Middle East Peace Calls for Immediate End to Violence, Return to Peace Talks
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) expressed deep sorrow and distress about the acts of deadly violence that have broken out in Gaza and southern Israel. CMEP urged all parties involved to end violent actions and to work with regional allies to achieve an immediate ceasefire.
September 21, 2011: CMEP Statement on the Palestinian Initiative at the United Nations
In the face of an imminent confrontation at the United Nations, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) reasserted that there is an urgent and immediate need for a just and sustainable resolution to the conflict in the Holy Land. CMEP also called for continued foreign aid to Palestinians and opposed threats to cut off aid to the Palestinian government and people in an effort to punish them for actions at the UN.
June 27, 2011: Letter to President Obama Urging Bold, Concrete, and Immediate Action for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian Leaders call for visible additional steps by President Barack Obama and the Administration to keep the parties focused on making concrete progress.
April 21, 2011: Letter to Secretary Clinton about Access to Holy Sites
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) asks Secretary Hillary Clinton for assistance in helping Christians, Muslims and Jews enjoy full religious freedom and complete access to their holy places.
March 14, 2011: CMEP Statement on Tragic Murders in Itamar
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly denounces the tragic and senseless killing of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, a small Israeli settlement in the northern part of the West Bank near Nablus on March 11.
March 7, 2011: Letter to President Obama on UN Settlement Veto and Further Peace Efforts
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders urge President Barack Obama to open up broad new channels of diplomatic effort to encourage both sides to take responsibility now for creating the conditions necessary for talks to succeed. This initiative must necessarily include support from the Middle East Quartet, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference for a set of proposals, building on the Arab Peace Initiative.
February 18, 2011: CMEP Responds to U.S. Veto of Settlements Resolution
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) profoundly regrets that the United States found it necessary to veto the resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for an end to Israeli construction in the Palestinian Territories and recognizing the urgency of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. CMEP called upon the United States to mount a major effort to help reduce fear and build trust among all involved in this conflict. CMEP also urged the President to make a well-prepared visit to the region, including Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring Syria, to help create strong regional support for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors.
February 2, 2011: Statement from CMEP on UN Security Council Resolution on Middle East
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) expressed its concern with the lack of progress in negotiations for a comprehensive peace. Brief direct talks were suspended in September 2010. U.S. proposals intended to reignite direct negotiations failed to bring the parties back to the table. A United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Israel to stop illegal construction of settlements in the territories over which it gained control in 1967, including East Jerusalem, was submitted for Security Council consideration and will be discussed by the Middle East Quartet (U.S., UN, EU and Russia). CMEP called on the Obama Administration not to stand in the way of this resolution in a Security Council vote.
November 1, 2010: CMEP Letter to Secretary Clinton Regarding Attacks on Iraqi Christians
Following the tragic violence that took place against Iraqi Christians in Baghdad, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urge that U.S. policies that seek in every way possible to reinforce the strong history of peaceful religious coexistence in Iraq.
September 8, 2010: Denouncing Anti-Muslim Bigotry
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemned plans by a group in Florida to burn copies of the Holy Koran on September 11 and to incite others to do so. In this connection Churches for Middle East Peace fully supports the statement issued on September 7 in Washington, DC by 35 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders that denounces the bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community.
June 22, 2010: Relieving the Blockade of Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomed the statement by the Government of Israel on June 20th that eased its blockade of Gaza. The announcement follows widespread international criticism of the violent confrontation at sea May 31 between Israeli forces and a flotilla headed for Gaza that led to the death of nine persons and injuries to others.
August 30, 2010: Letter from Heads of Denominations to President Obama on Restart of Direct Talks
After bringing together Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of the Palestinian Authority, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders call on President Barack Obama and his negotiating team to continue vigilant efforts to help the parties find acceptable solutions.
April 5, 2010: Ecumenical to President Obama in Support of Strong U.S. Leadership for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders applaud President Barack Obama and the administration’s efforts to halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories, and join in seeking a comprehensive agreement that ends the occupation, provides security and recognition for Israel, and establishes a viable, secure and independent Palestinian state.
March 12, 2010: Ecumenical to President Obama on Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders urge President Barack Obama to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to use America’s unique relationship with Israel to persuade it to lift the closure of its border crossings with Gaza.
February 4, 2010: CMEP and Multiple Organizations to President Obama on Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace and other organizations urge President Barack Obama and the administration to persuade Israel to lift the closure of its border crossings with Gaza.
November 5, 2009: CMEP to President Obama on Goldstone Report
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) supports the recommendation in the Goldstone Report that independent investigations into allegations of war crimes committed during “Operation Cast Lead” from December 2008 to January 2009 should be carried out by Israeli and Palestinian authorities. CMEP supports the administration’s efforts to encourage such independent investigations and urges President Barack Obama to continue to press Israel and the Palestinians to conduct them.
October 30, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Eviction of Bethlehem University Student
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton to request the government of Israel on compassionate and humanitarian grounds to allow Ms. Berlanty Azzam, a fourth year student at Bethlehem University in Bethlehem who was detained and deported to Gaza by the Israeli military on October 28, 2009 to return to Bethlehem to complete her studies.
September 24, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Gaza Water Crisis
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton to urge the United States to exert every effort to address the water crisis by ending restrictions on humanitarian goods and opening Gaza’s borders in a secure manner to reconstruction and repair materials.
September 22, 2009: CMEP and Multiple Organizations Support Comprehensive Middle East Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other organizations support President Barack Obama’s efforts and determination to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to ensure stability and peace in the Middle East,
August 7, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Sheikh Jarrah Evictions
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton expressing grave concern about the eviction of 50 Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah section of East Jerusalem in the early morning hours of August 2, 2009 and urges the Department of State to insist on the immediate reversal of this ill-considered eviction and on the restoration of these houses to their former residents.
July 22, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Violence Against Iraqi Christians
Following attacks on Iraqi Christians in Baghdad and Mosul, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urging the U.S to work closely with the Iraqi government to ensure that all possible security measures are taken to combat these violent attacks.
June 4, 2009: Ecumenical Letter to President Obama Following Egypt Speech
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders pledge support for President Obama’s commitment to peace between Israelis and Palestinians and to join with the administration to work with and support those in both societies who seek peace, justice, and security, standing beside those who hope for a better future.
May 5, 2009: CMEP to Sec. Clinton on Palestinian Christian Issues
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urging the U.S to address several specific issues as part of the Administration’s broader efforts to resolve the conflict including, restrictive Israeli residency and “family unification” laws and regulations in East Jerusalem, which are contributing to the rapid decline of Jerusalem’s Christian population.
March 2, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton regarding her trip to the Middle East
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urging her make clear during her trip to the Middle East that the Obama Administration will not tolerate ongoing Israeli settlement activity.
September 23, 2008: Iran
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) called for robust U.S. diplomacy throughout the Middle East to resolve conflicts and reduce tensions, including direct, serious and sustained negotiations with Iran.
March 20, 2003: Policy Statement on Iraq War
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) expressed its deep regrets of the decision by the United States and other nations to begin military action against Iraq.
December 3, 2001: Policy Statement on Suicide Bombings in Israel
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemned unequivocally the suicide bombings carried out in Israel. CMEP also urged the United States to work with other nations to dispatch an international monitoring and observer force to the conflicted region as one immediate means of discouraging further violence.