October 31, 2023
Statement from the College of Bishops on the Israel/Gaza Conflict
The College of Bishops of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church add our voices to the collective voices of faith around the world in condemning the violence that is ravaging Israel/Gaza. We unequivocally condemn the attacks of Hamas upon the Jewish/Israeli community that has resulted in the death and destruction of innocent people, their lands, and their communities. We also condemn the attacks of Israel upon Palestine and Gaza that has also wrought death and destruction among innocent Palestinians.
We recognize that while Israel should be able to defend itself against terrorist attacks, the same should hold true for Palestinians who have lived under an oppressive, apartheid system for many years and are also entitled to live their lives with dignity and respect.
We join the voices that are calling for an immediate ceasefire of all hostilities and ask that parties seek to resolve their differences in a diplomatic, peaceful manner. The history of the region is a complicated one with Jews, Muslims, and Christians all laying claim to the land. We pray that the descendants of Abraham would come to a mutual understanding and not misuse the biblical texts of their traditions to justify genocide and harm upon citizens who are seeking to live safe, productive lives.
We as members of the community of faith continue to lift prayers for an end to the conflict but also call on our government and diplomatic officials to use everything at their disposal to achieve a peace resolution.
The College of Bishops of the CME Church
Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III, Senior Bishop
Bishop Teresa E. Snorton, Chair of the College of Bishops
Bishop Charley Hames, Jr., Secretary of the College of Bishops