Joint statement on the Holy Land

Published: 26th June 2020

A statement on the situation in the Holy Land from the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge and the Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley

For several weeks, reports have been in circulation suggesting that the Israeli Government plans to annexe parts of the West Bank.  The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster recently issued a statement expressing the churches’ strong opposition to these plans for annexation, which local Christian leaders have warned would “bring about the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process.” 

The Right Rev Declan Lang (Catholic Bishop of Clifton and Chair of the Holy Land Coordination group) and the Right Revd Christopher Chessun (Bishop of Southwark and Anglican representative on the Holy Land Coordination group) have now called on the UK government and parliamentarians to help prevent annexation, which could begin on 1 July.  In a joint statement they have said: “From our dialogue with communities in the Holy Land, we know first-hand that the situation is rapidly deteriorating. Annexation would only bring more conflict, suffering and division.  The UK Government has a duty to act and to do everything possible to dissuade the Government of Israel from annexing the West Bank in violation of international law.  This week we have made representations to the government and senior parliamentarians about the situation. Alongside other churches and faith groups we will continue to work on this fundamental question of justice and peace.”

We express our strong support for this call for action by the British Government and parliamentarians.  Having led joint Roman Catholic/Anglican pilgrimages to the Holy Land, we share a common commitment to the Christian communities there and to their flourishing.  We are equally united in our longing for all the communities in the Holy Land – and indeed in the whole of the Middle East – to live in peace and security, with justice for all.

Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham and Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester

Page last updated: 29th June 2020 9:46 AM