Middle East Crisis

Due to the horrific, ongoing violence in and around Gaza, a severe humanitarian crisis continues to escalate in the Holy Land. The ELCA is walking with many partners in the region, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and Augusta Victoria Hospital, to address the most pressing needs for people in the areas surrounding Gaza, including the West Bank and other occupied territory. Right now, Lutheran Disaster Response is helping meet many basic needs such as food, water, basic and emergency health care, shelter and medical supplies. There is so much yet to be done.

In October 2023, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued a letter of solidarity to Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. In it she wrote:

“I encourage the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to unite in prayer for the families of innocent civilians whose lives were lost, as well as pray for healing for all the injured, fearful and traumatized.

I pledge our accompaniment and support to you as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and its ministries provide ‘critical and timely assistance (psychological and otherwise) to those affected by this war.’”

In a more recent message Bishop Eaton wrote:

“At times a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis doesn't seem possible, yet as Christians we believe that it is. The psalmist assures us that God ‘makes wars cease to the end of the earth’ (Psalm 46:9). At times it seems that there is nothing we can do, yet through baptism God calls us to be peacemakers. We live out this calling in many ways, including through prayer, advocacy and accompaniment.”

When the cease-fire comes and when, God willing, our partners can reestablish work in Gaza, our church stands ready to continue our response.

What you can do:
Pray
Pray for all people who are suffering and grieving, and for this war to end diplomatically in a lasting peace, rooted in justice and human rights for Palestinians and Israelis.

Give
Thanks to the faithful, generous people of the ELCA, Lutheran Disaster Response has a history of walking alongside and supporting our partners. Your gifts designated for “Middle East Crisis” will be used entirely (100%) to provide long-lasting support to those whose lives have been impacted by disasters in the region.

Advocate
Advocate for an immediate, bilateral cease-fire and a halt in U.S. arms transfers to Israel, to prevent further loss of life; the release of all hostages and uncharged prisoners; and unimpeded humanitarian aid for all in need. We will continue to advocate for these priorities with the Biden administration and the U.S. Congress.

Accompany
Walk with all who long for a just peace, including especially our Palestinian siblings in the ELCA, as well as Christian, Muslim and Jewish partners here in the U.S. and in the Holy Land.

Connect:
To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:
  • Share this bulletin insert with your congregation and encourage support.
  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.
  • "Like" Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook, follow @ELCALDR on Twitter and follow @ELCA_LDR on Instagram.

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