Leaders of Canadian Anglican, Lutheran, United and Presbyterian churches, including Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, met with MPs from the Liberal and Conservative parties April 27 to “advocate for a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel,” according to a news release issued on a shared Anglican-Lutheran website the same day.
Among other policies, the church leaders requested the government create a special envoy to monitor and report on how children are treated in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and to hold Israeli authorities accountable for human rights abuses under international law. They also urged Ottawa to publicly condemn what they called Israel’s attack on Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations.
Nicholls and ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson had previously sent a series of letters to the government expressing concerns about violence on the part of the Israeli government and its citizens. In addition to the nation’s treatment of Palestinians, Nicholls has expressed concern over growing anti-Christian sentiment in the wake of the Jan. 13 desecration of the Christian Mount Zion Cemetery. Many of the Christians living in Israel and Palestine are ethnic Palestinians.
The group included Nicholls, along with Johnson; the Rev. Carmen Lansdowne, moderator of the United Church of Canada; and the Rev. Dorcas Gordon, principal emerita of the University of Toronto’s Knox College.