The PIEF is an international, inter-church advocacy initiative for peace in Israel and Palestine


    World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

    29 May - 4 June 2010

    Joint action for just peace convened by the World Council of Churches

    Events that took place during World Week 2010
    Latest update: 20 June 2010



    The General Delegation of Palestine hosted an exhibition of images of Jerusalem which opened on 2 June.  In conjunction with this, a four-part community radio series on Jerusalem was also planned for the week.

    On 26 May, a public lecture was given by David Forde, who was a member of a study tour to Palestine that took place in March this year.  David also was in Canberra during the week, taking part in advocacy activities at Parliament House.

    Worship services were held in Canberra during World Week for Peace, making use of the Irish ecumenical liturgy, “It’s Time for Peace.”  In addition, other events were also held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    The planning committee for Australia also set up a website to educate the public and encourage participation in World Week for Peace activities.


    The Israel-Palestine Commission of Pax Christi Austria issued a memorandum on the conflict, which included a history, an evaluation of the present crisis, and a call to peaceful reconciliation.  The Commission also published, in cooperation with other partner agencies, a new informational brochure in support of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI).

    Pax Christi Austria, in cooperation with other local organizations, hosted a “Palestine Israel Peace Forum” on 29 May.  Topics presented and discussed included the Kairos Palestine document, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI), and the future of Jerusalem as a city open to people of all faiths.

    The "Chevaliers of the Holy Sepulchre" used the Jerusalem Prayer in their night event, which took place on 29 May during the "Long Night of Churches" all across Austria.

    In Linz there was a "Night Prayer" vigil with a focus on the activities of EAPPI.  In Innsbruck at least five events were held with Ecumenical Accompaniers.  Other activities were also organized in Salzburg and Villach.

    On Sunday 6 June, the Church of Reconciliation in Linz marked World Week for Peace by using the Irish ecumenical liturgy, "It's Time for Peace."

    On Sunday 13 June, a special worship service was held in the Roman Catholic Parish in Linz.

    Members of Pax Christi Austria sent letters to politicians in Israel and Austria, including the Austrian Prime Minister on the occasion of his recent trip to Israel.


    Pax Christi Flanders (Belgium) informed the local media regarding World Week for Peace, and held a prayer service on 30 May at its annual assembly.  The service made use of the materials of the British Pax Christi and others, which were translated into Dutch/Flemish.

    Pax Christi Flanders (Belgium) established a page on its website where visitors were able to receive suggestions on how to participate in World Week for Peace in their own communities.  Visitors to the website were given access to speakers, literature, DVDs, and other resources that would facilitate greater participation in the week.


    The following events were organized by church and community leaders in southern Brazilduring World Week for Peace:

    • 27 May - Bible Study on "Promised Land: a Promise for Everyone", Community Methodist Villa Rica, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro
    • 29 May - "Call to Prayer for Peace" on Radio Program "Life", Radio South Fluminense, Barra Mansa, Rio de Janeiro
    • 30 May - "Call to Prayer for Peace”, Catholic Community St. Sebastian
    • 30 May - Debate Camp of the Landless Movement, "Sister Dorothy", Quatis, Rio de Janeiro
    • 1 June - "Call to Prayer for Peace", ACT IN DEFENSE OF LIFE, Movement Ethics in Politics, Praça Brazil, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro
    • 7 June – student debate on the Kairos Palestine Document, Faculty of Theology, University Severino Sombra


    KAIROS, a Canadian ecumenical organization promoting human rights and justice,supported World Week for Peace through a variety of activities.  Since 11 May, KAIROS has been running an urgent action on recent military orders that would allow the Israeli Defense Forces to deport thousands of Palestinians.  KAIROS created a bulletin insert to be used during congregational worship on Sunday 30 May.  KAIROS also included Palestine and Israel on the "Countries of Concern" page of its website, which offers more information about the organization’s work in the region and its position regarding a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


    The Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba circulated the Kairos Palestine document among its communities for study and prayer during World Week for Peace.


    On 1 June in Paris, the network Christians of the Mediterranean sponsored a reception and discussion with Father Manuel Musallam on the occasion of the publication of his new book, “Priest in Gaza.”


    Pax Christi Rottenburg-Stuttgart funded and supported two tree planting events during World Week for Peace. On 29 May, following an ecumenical prayer event in Bethlehem, guests planted 50 trees that members of Pax Christi Rottenburg-Stuttgart donated as a sign of hope against the separation wall.  Despite the occupation, the Wi'am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre of Bethlehem is planning to build a playground surrounded by trees to give children as much quality of life as is possible under the given circumstances.  In mid-June, more trees were planted by Christian and Muslim youth in a vineyard near Bethlehem that is under threat by the expansion of nearby settlements.  This activity, which also included a workshop on international law, was sponsored in cooperation with Shams (Ramallah), Wi'am Centre (Bethlehem), and forumZFD/Pax Christi (Germany).

    Pax Christi Augsburg led an “encounter and solidarity” tour to Palestine from 23 May to 3 June, in partnership with the Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem.  Participants learned about the social and political situation in Palestine through encounters with Christian, Muslim, and Jewish activists, peace advocates, and community leaders, as well as through visits to checkpoints, sites of house demolitions, and other points of recent conflict.

    The Evangelical Church in Germany created a special website to provide resources for congregations and communities sponsoring events in Germany during World Week for Peace.

    The English-language and Migrant Ministries office of the United Methodist Church in Germany encouraged English-language and international Methodist congregations in the country to join in prayer during worship on 30 May for a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel.


    The Kerry County Diocesan Justice, Peace and Creation Committee organized the following events for World Week for Peace:

    • Each of the 55 parishes in the diocese was asked to include a prayer for peace in the masses of 29 and 30 May, and to place a notice about the Cathedral mass prepared by the committee in every parish bulletin.
    • The local radio station, Radio Kerry, interviewed Ms Gerry O'Sullivan, a recently returned EAPPI volunteer, on 30 May.  Radio Kerry also dedicated its twice-daily “Just a Thought” spiritual segment to the theme of peacemaking in Palestine and Israel, from 31 May to 4 June.
    • A special mass for peace in the Holy Land was held on 4 June in the Cathedral in Killarney.  Gerry O'Sullivan gave a short introduction, and the service included special prayers and music from the region.
    • Information about all these events was publicized on the diocesan website.

    The Irish national television station RTE plans to broadcast a service of worship that will include the Irish ecumenical liturgy, “It’s Time for Peace.”  Palestinian and Israeli peace activists in their home communities are videotaping messages of peace that will be broadcast during this worship service.


    The Sacred Heart English-language Roman Catholic parish in Amman prayed the Jerusalem Prayer during its worship services over the weekend of 6 June.


    Churches across the country, including congregations of the Methodist Church in Kenya, as well asWorld Fellowship Centre in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, prayed for peace for all in Palestine and Israel on Sunday 30 May.


    Kerk in Actie, together with EAPPI, composed a booklet with stories, poems, and prayers offering different perspectives on the conflict in Palestine and Israel, for distribution ahead of World Week for Peace.

    In addition, Kerk in Actie held a series of events throughout World Week for Peace.  The week began with a large ceremony in The Hague.  Postcards were made available, upon which individuals wrote messages of peace and sent them to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to officials in Palestine and Israel.  During the week, ten to twelve local groups across the country used the Kerk in Actie booklet as a source for discussions, forums, and prayer services.  The week closed with a large gathering in Westerpark in Amsterdam, featuring the sharing of stories and prayers, as well as performances of music and displays of artwork.  Photographs taken recently in Palestine by a Dutch photographer were used to illustrate the booklets, postcards, and other materials highlighted during the week.


    The Norwegian coordination group for World Week for Peace organized the following events during World Week:

    • 29 May: Women in Black demonstration outside the Norwegian Parliament

    • 30 May: Ecumenical evening worship service, with other churches being challenged to use World Week for Peace liturgy

    • 31 May: Seminar on the outbreak of the Gaza conflict, the Hamas government, and the humanitarian situation, with scholars and a journalist who has interviewed Isa Saba, director of YMCA Gaza, in Gaza

    • 1 June: Seminar on Israeli soldiers’ testimonies from occupied Palestinian territory, with Yehuda Shaul, director of “Breaking the Silence”

    • 2 June: Seminar on the Kairos Palestine document, with Father Dr Jamal Khader, one of the authors of the Kairos document; a Norwegian church leader; and a leader of the main Palestine solidarity group

    • 3 June: Seminar on Jerusalem at a theological university, with issues of settlements and access to holy sites discussed by Norwegian scholars and Angela Godfrey-Goldstein from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

    In addition, Yehuda Shaul from “Breaking the Silence” held several advocacy meetings, with MPs from five different parties in the Parliament, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and church organizations.  Extensive media coverage was given to Yehuda Shaul on national TV and several newspapers; World Week for Peace (in Norway called "Church Week") was also mentioned.  A number of churches had World Week for Peace services, using the Jerusalem Prayer and readings from the Kairos Palestine document.  Ecumenical Accompaniers participated in at least two church services.  The Kairos Palestine document was translated into Norwegian, and a seminar launching the document was held.  A special website for World Week for Peace was also created in Norwegian.



    In preparation for World Week for Peace, the Arab Educational Institute, along with many local partners, organized a conference entitled “Sumud and the Wall,” held in Bethlehem from 30 April to 1 May.

    On 29 May, the Arab Educational Institute (AEI)Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, and Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies organized a tour for visitors from Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem highlighting the disastrous consequences of the separation wall and settlement building in the larger Bethlehem area.  Also that morning, Wi’am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre welcomed visiting groups and demonstrated the difficulties and challenges facing the Palestinian people with a tour around the wall.  At the end of the day, some 130 persons held a service hosted by Wi’am in Bethlehem near the separation wall.  The Rev. Dr Naim Ateek (director of Sabeel), Fr. Yacoub Abu Sa’da (Greek Catholic parish priest in Bethlehem) and Archbishop Atallah Hanna (Greek Orthodox Church) led the service with the participation of old and young laypersons.

    In Beit Jala, Mrs. Lamia Al Arja, a member of the Beit Jala municipality, used maps and a walk through the area to explain the implementation of land expropriations, settlement expansion and separation wall building that would enclose Beit Jala.  In Oush Grab, a location in eastern Beit Sahour threatened by a new settlement, Siraj organized a meeting with the scholar and activist Dr. Mazin Qumsieh.  At both venues, prayers and wishes in various languages were lifted up.  At 6:00 p.m., a crowd gathered in the courtyard of Wi’am in front of the wall around Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.  Dr. Zoughbi Zoughbi, director of Wi’am, expressed thanks to the WCC and the countries participating in activities for a just peace in Palestine-Israel this week.  The prayer service, prepared by Sabeel in cooperation with the Jerusalem Interchurch Center, was meaningful and challenging.  Among the prayers was a reading that spoke about the “dark prison of occupation,” “the greed of land confiscation,” and the “inhumanity of demolished houses,” with the audience responding, “Who will break down walls and remove obstacles?”

    During the service, the prayer from the Jerusalem Church leaders written for World Week for Peace was read in Arabic.  It included an appeal to support the people of Gaza:  “Give liberation, freedom and dignity to the people of Gaza who live under trials, threats and blockades.”  The women’s choir of the AEI shared their spiritual songs about sumud, the Palestinian people’s steadfastness and resilience, and held up cardboards that conveyed one of the World Week’s phrases, “Time for Palestine.”

    About 130 Palestinians attended the program, including participants in the women’s conference held 27–29 May organized by Sabeel called, “A Moment of Truth.” Among the other visitors were internationals working with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), as well as local and international NGOs, including the network of Christian organizations in Bethlehem/Jerusalem, and a visiting group of Pax Christi from Augsburg, Germany, hosted by the AEI.  At the end of the ceremony, Wi’am organized a tree planting ceremony in a joint initiative with Pax Christi Germany.  Then black and white balloons filled the sky, symbolizing the suffering and oppression of the people of Palestine, as well as their persistent hope for freedom, justice and peace.

    The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem wrote a special litany for Gazathat was used in the Center’s communion service on 3 June. The prayer was also forwarded to Sabeel’s partners worldwide for their use in worship services during the week.  On 7 June, a day of fasting and prayer was held in honor and memory of the participants of the Gaza-bound flotilla attacked by the Israeli navy, for the people of Gaza, and for peace in Palestine and Israel.

    In conjunction with the beginning of World Week for Peace, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI) issued fact sheets on “Forced Displacement in the West Bank” and “Bethlehem Under Occupation.”

    In response to World Week for Peace, students at Bethlehem University will begin to detail their eyewitness accounts of life in relation to the separation wall and the ever encroaching Israeli settlements.  These accounts will be circulated on Facebook and other social networking sites.


    A number of events were held in the Philippines during World Week for Peace.  The main organizers for these events were Peace for Life, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, and the Ecumenical Bishops Forum.

    A public march and demonstration was held at the Israeli Embassy in Makati on the morning of 2 June, which was joined not only by the organizers of the World Week but by other organizations, such as the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), Kasimbayan, KONTAK-Philippines, Bayan (National Patriotic Organization of the Philippines), Association of Concerned Teachers (ACT), League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS)-Philippines.  A copy of our “Philippine Church Leaders’ Statement for a Just Peace in Palestine” was faxed and personally delivered to the Israeli Ambassador who was ostensibly absent during that day. This document was signed by bishops and heads of churches, as well as leaders of many church organizations, representing a wide diversity of Christians across the Philippines.

    Our World Week culminated with an Ecumenical Service and a Solidarity Forum on 3 June with our main speaker, Dr. Luna Dingayan, President of Ecumenical Theological Seminary, who visited the Holy Land recently.  Dr. Dingayan gave a deep but clear biblio-theological reflection on the call for peacemaking in Palestine-Israel.  The forum was well attended by Catholic and Protestant bishops, nuns, clergy members, women, social activists, students and other young people.  The program closed with a heartwarming Candle Lighting service held along the street where a big tarpaulin sign was placed which prominently read: JUST PEACE FOR PALESTINE!

    The Philippine Solidarity Group for Peace in Palestine issued a wide-ranging invitation to churches and advocacy groups to take part in events during World Week for Peace.  Specifically, joint worship services were held across the country on Sunday 30 May, making use of the Irish ecumenical liturgy, “It’s Time for Peace,” which was translated into Filipino.

    During the week church leaders and activists visited radio and television stations to bring concerns and raise awareness.

    In addition, many churches across the Philippines held special worship services to mark World Week for Peace on 30 May and 6 June.


    The Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, an international, interdenominational, English-language congregation, prayed for peace for all in Palestine and Israel during worship on Sunday 30 May, and in prayer groups and congregational gatherings throughout the week.

    South Africa

    conference was organized by the South African Council of Churches to engage church leaders, academics, and theologians on the Kairos Palestine document.  Conference planners encouraged and urged church bodies and other participating organizations to endorse the Kairos Palestine document during World Week for Peace.  Representatives of churches from the Lutheran, Anglican, Evangelist, Methodist and Apostles traditions took part in this forum, as did former Ecumenical Accompaniers.

    Peace activists traveled around Johannesburg on 2 and 3 June, giving interviews on local radio stations and receiving calls from listeners asking questions and offering comments.  These radio shows were generally well received, and also provided feedback that revealed that the community is now more aware of what is happening in Palestine.

    Most of the Anglican and Lutheran churches across Johannesburg used the Jerusalem Prayer in their services on 30 May.


    The Jerusalem Prayer for peace was translated into Swedish and was made available for worship services in Church of Sweden congregations across the country on Sunday 30 May, the main collection day for international work within the church.

    From 4 to 6 June, the Church of Sweden held an international festival.  Activities during the festival included educational programs about Palestine, conversations with Ecumenical Accompaniers from Sweden, and an art installation and seminars featuring the Bethlehem artist Faten Nastas.


    On 30 May, the Sunday worship service at the English-language congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva included particular words and prayers related to World Week for Peace.

    On 31 May, the World Council of Churches hosted a series of special events at the WCC headquarters in Geneva:

    • Ecumenical worship service at the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre.
    • Day-long exhibition at the Ecumenical Centre, with Palestinian food and literature from the region for sale, artwork and posters on display, and other contributions from Geneva-based NGOs on exhibit.
    • Round table discussion among representatives of the NGO community in Geneva, featuring Hazem Jamjoum of the BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, and Caroline and Norman Finkelstein of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

    On 8 June, the Protestant parish of Chêne-Bougeries hosted a documentary film about the archaeological history of Gaza, followed by a discussion with Marc-Andre Haldiman, an archaeologist from the Museum of Art and History in Geneva.

    United Kingdom

    On 3 June, over 100 people attended a mid-day vigil at St. Philip’s Anglican Cathedral in Birmingham. The reflections and litany were led by local councillor Salma Yaqoob, Jewish peace activist Barbara Payman, and Shari Brown of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine Israel. Members of Pax Christi also participated in the event. Local media provided coverage of the day, with Shari Brown appearing on Midlands Today and BBC WM Radio. The vigil was coordinated by the West Midlands Christian Network for a Just Peace for Palestine.

    On 5 June, under the auspices of Christians Aware, Denton Methodist Church in Manchester organized a forum entitled, "Palestine: An Unsettled Future?".  Speakers at the event included Hilary Brown, a former volunteer with EAPPI; Linda Clair of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign; and Helen Marks of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

    An exhibition called “Just Peace,” featuring pictures by children from Gaza, took place in Lichfield, England, from 6 to 13 June.  The local Methodist church in Lichfield hosted a series of events during World Week for Peace; programmes were held on EAPPI, Gaza, Jerusalem, Christian Zionism, and the Kairos Palestine document.

    The UK World Week for Peace planning group put together a leaflet about World Week for Peace on the theme of Togetherness.  Intended for church use, the leaflet contains details about the week, ideas about how people might mark it, a cartoon, links to the Kairos Palestine document, information on the trade of goods from settlements, and links to relevant websites.  The planning group distributed 5,000 leaflets in Scotland, and an additional 8,000 in the rest of the United Kingdom.

    United States

    Hope United Methodist Church, a member of the Detroit Annual Conference, sponsored a forum on 3 June to discuss how persons who share the hope of justice can take peaceful actions and send a clear message to U.S. policymakers about bringing the conflict to an end.  Several peace groups also presented displays and were available for discussion both before and after the forum.  Additionally, Hope UMC commemorated World Week for Peace in its worship services on 30 May.

    The newly-formed United Methodist Holy Land Task Force highlighted World Week for Peace on its website, which offers a wealth of background information, links to other resources, and details on how United Methodists can get involved in advocacy efforts nationwide.

    United Methodist congregations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and California that recently sent volunteer mission teams to Palestine planned special liturgical and educational events for World Week for Peace.

    The New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church highlighted events of World Week for Peace on its conference website, and encouraged its member congregations to commemorate World Week for Peace during worship services on Sunday, 30 May.

    The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church planned a BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) event to coincide with World Week for Peace.  In addition, at its annual meeting in June, the Northern Illinois Conference voted to divest all holdings in three international corporations that profit from the occupation of Palestine.  This action is in response to a plea by Palestinian Christians for action, not just words, as highlighted in the Kairos Palestine document.

    The General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church posted links on their websites to the home page of World Week for Peace, and encouraged UMC congregations to participate in the activities of the week.

    The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta - Joining Hands Committee on Palestine held a public forum on peacemaking in Palestine at North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on 6 June.  Approximately 40 people attended this event.

    The Global Ministries unit of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ created a link from its website to the home page of World Week for Peace, and encouraged participation in the week among the denominations’ congregations.

    The Washington DC-based human rights organization Interfaith Peace-Builders sent a fact-finding delegation to Palestine and Israel.  The theme of the trip, from 23 May to 5 June, was “Voices of the Peacemakers: From Roots to Reconciliation.”  The delegation featured meetings with Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers – leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, religious congregations, and more.  The delegation focused on learning about the current challenges facing activists participating in nonviolent resistance to the occupation.  Participants were empowered to return to their home communities and become advocates for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.

    In the seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), plans are under development to hold educational and liturgical events throughout the academic year that focus on themes related to World Week for Peace.  Possible activities include inviting young adults who have lived in Palestine, either as congregational interns or Ecumenical Accompaniment volunteers, to participate in campus events and speak about their experiences from a first hand perspective.

    The ELCA is also exploring the possibility of hiring a consultant to write a curriculum related to a just peace in the Middle East that would be relevant to the education of young people.

    International Action

    In response to the storming by Israeli navy forces of a Gaza-bound vessel carrying humanitarian aid in international waters before dawn on May 31, many participating organizations and partners of World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel issued statements condemning the attack and pleading for a just peace for Palestinians living under occupation and blockade. Statements were released by the following:

    • World Council of Churches
    • Pax Christi International (as well as many of its local affiliates)
    • Justice and Peace-France
    • France Mission
    • Christians of the Mediterranean
    • Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development
    • Catholic Relief
    • Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
    • General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church
    • Caritas Internationalis
    • Dominicans for Justice and Peace (Order of Preachers)
    • Dominican Leadership Conference
    • IMA
    • Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network
    • Vides (Volunteers in Development Education Solidarity)
    • Peace for Life
    • Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
    • National Council of Churches in the Philippines
    • Act for Peace (National Council of Churches in Australia)
    • Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center