From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Brethren comment on Middle East Peace

From George Conklin <>
Date 27 May 1996 14:50:36

Church of the Brethren General Board calls for seven principles
to be adhered to during upcoming Israeli/Palestinian peace talks

Nevin Dulabaum,     (847) 742-5100 
Director of News Services 
Church of the Brethren

(Elgin, Ill.) March 12, 1996 - Although the recent rash of bombings in the
Middle East may alter the ongoing peace process between Israelis and
Palestinians, the current timetable calls for discussions regarding the
final status of Jerusalem to begin in May.

With those meetings pending, the Church of the Brethren General Board is
calling for the adherance of seven principles during the ongoing peace
process and upcoming peace talks. 

In a resolution approved today by the General Board, the Church of the
Brethren calls for:

* the termination of Middle East violence and counterviolence by all parties.

* international efforts to assure the legitimate rights of self-determination
for the Palestinian people as well as the legitimate security interests of

 *a Jerusalem that is open to Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike, including
freedom of worship, freedom to access its holy places, and freedom to
conduct business and operate cultural institutions.

* mutual recognition by Muslims, Jews, and Christians that Jerusalem is
sacred to all people of these faiths.

* confidence-building measures to be enacted, such as the immediate cessation
of land confiscation and settlement building around Jerusalem by the
Israeli government, and provisions to address housing concerns and to
protect human rights and religious liberty.

* Jerusalem to become a jointly-administered municipality, as called for by
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.

* the U.S. to maintain an active and balanced role in the process.

As these talks begin, we recognize that the stakes are extremely high, as
both the Israeli and Palestinian people claim Jerusalem as their capital,
the resolution reads. The Church of the Brethren joins with Muslims, Jews,
and Christians in the U.S. and in the Middle East to support principles of
justice, religious liberty, and peaceful resolution of the question of

The Church of the Brethren, a 144,000-member denomination consisting of 23
districts spanning most of the contiguous United States, is headquartered
in Elgin, Ill. It was formed in 1708 when the Brethren movement began in
central Germany. It is a historic peace church, conscientiously opposed to
all war. 


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