Archbishop in Jerusalem addresses Synod with call for ceasefire and plea for peace in Israel and Gaza


Most Revd Hosam Naoum calls on the international community to work for a ‘just and lasting’ peace.

The Archbishop in Jerusalem has addressed members of the Church of England’s General Synod, describing the ‘difficult and controversial’ task of seeking peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.

On the first day of its November 2023 group of sessions, Most Revd Hosam Naoum spoke to the Synod by video from Jerusalem, asking members of the Synod to hold both Palestinians and Israelis in their prayers following an ‘eruption of violence’ since the attacks of October 7.

He urged the global community to work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict, a ceasefire for humanitarian corridors, and for the protection of civilians.

“I would like to thank Archbishop Justin for his presidential address and for his word of peace and reconciliation that continues to be a light to many places around the world, and we know that during war and during the time where we pursue peace,” he said.

“Language of reconciliation … can be difficult, and it can be controversial. But here in the Holy Land we need that language of peace and reconciliation more than ever. 

“In a time of war, especially here in the Middle East and in The Holy Land, both Palestinians and Israelis are seeking a better future. But this doesn’t mean that violence can be the only way, or even the way in which we strive for peace and reconciliation,” he said.

Archbishop Hosam also called to mind conflicts in Sudan and Ukraine, and the ‘day after the war’ when we remember those who have been lost, with reference to the recent marking of Remembrance Sunday.

He called on the international community to work for a ‘just and lasting’ peace for Israeli and Palestinian people.

“The language of guns and the sounds of bullets were never the way forward where people would live together side by side,” he said.

“If we are really concerned about the security for Israelis and the self determination of the Palestinian people for a free and enduring and durable state in the future, we need the efforts of everyone around the world, that we may focus on the day after the war, where peace – a just and lasting one – will be the only way forward for the end of the cycle of violence here in the Holy Land.”

“As we continue to strive for peace and as we continue to spread the work of reconciliation, even though it falls on deaf ears at this time of war and violence and suffering, now we need to hold to what we believe in, because that is what God has called us for.”

The Most Reverend Hosam Naoum is the 15th Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, a role he has held since 2021. He was born in Haifa and grew up in Shefa’amr in Galilee.

The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is home to about 7000 Anglicans worshiping within twenty-eight different congregations. It is also responsible for more than thirty institutions, including hospitals, schools, clinics and rehabilitation centres. The Diocese is scattered across five separate countries or territories: Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.

The Church of England’s General Synod is meeting between 13-15 November 2023. Archbishop Hosam’s comments came as part of a shared presidential address delivered by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. 

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