United Methodist Church bishops call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

The United Methodist Church Council of Bishops has urgently called for “an immediate and permanent cease-fire” in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

“As bishops of The United Methodist Church, we call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire in the conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza and pledge our prayers and commitment to work for a durable peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and all in the region,” read the statement, released last week. 

Highlighting the impact of the conflict, it noted that “Since [Hamas’s October 7 attack], more than 30,000 have been killed by Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the majority of them women and children.” 

The bishops stressed the need for “diplomatic initiatives that will engage both Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to understand the fears, hopes, and aspirations of each other,” calling for a peaceful resolution that respects the rights and aspirations of both communities.

“We pledge our prayers and commitment to work for a durable peace, an end to the violence and the release of the hostages,” the statement concluded.

SMOKE RISES during an IDF ground operation in Khan Yunis, as seen from Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, this week. Rafah is Hamas’s gateway to the outside world, providing it with the resources required to sustain its operations and continue to wage war, says the writer. (credit: BASSAM MASOUD/REUTERS)

Council joins other church orgs in ceasefire call

The United Methodist Church Council of Bishops represents the spiritual leadership of the United Methodist denomination, a global church active in more than 125 countries. Tasked with guiding the church’s mission, vision, and doctrine, the Council of Bishops plays a critical role in articulating the church’s stance on social and global issues. 

The council joins a number of other denominational groups, including the Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and several Baptist groups in calling for a ceasefire. 

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