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


    Events held during World Week for Peace 2012

    Updated on 21 August 2012, highlighting events in 25 countries


    Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, promoted World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel on its website, and encouraged its member churches to use resources prepared for the Week.


    In Linz there was a Sunday worship service on 27 May in the Reformed Church, and a vigil on 30 May in the city center.

    In Innsbruck there were two events: a screening of the film "We Refuse to be Enemies" on 29 May, and a focus on Palestine during the "Long Night of Churches" on 1 June.

    In Graz two events were held highlighting the work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).  A former EA from Austria described her service in Tulkaram.  Another former EA spoke to a student group about his experience and the use of non-violence.

    Additional events were planned for the Week in Steyr and Voecklabruck.

    All these events were publicized through a recent radio interview with a local organizer for the Week.


    On 30 May, the Quaker House in Brussels hosted a Quaker Meeting for Worship, dedicated to peace in Palestine Israel.


    EAPPI-Brazil and other ecumenical organizations set up a website and Facebook page to promote the Week and provide resources and materials in Portuguese.  The Week was also promoted through websites and other media by the Ecumenical Biblical Center, the Lutheran Church, the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Campo Grande, Koinonia, and the Methodist Church.

    On 26 May, a discussion led by Tabita Seidler on the need for a just peace in Palestine Israel was held in San Paulo.

    On 1 June, the Amazonian Christian Council celebrated an ecumenical worship service at the Lutheran parish in Belem.

    The Methodist University in San Paulo held a special prayer service for peace in Palestine and Israel two times each day throughout the entire Week.  A special worship liturgy for the Week was prepared by a member of the university's Faculty of Theology.

    During the Week, a vigil to commemorate World Week for Peace was held in several cities across Brazil, and was jointly supported and organized by a number of church organizations.

    Additional resources prepared for the Week in Portuguese are available here.

    Activists in Porto Alegre are already preparing for the World Social Forum "Free Palestine" event, to be held in November 2012.  During the Forum, community and church leaders will hold a vigil outside Taurus, a company that manufactures weapons with Israeli investment.


    The United Church of Canada (UCC) opened a special page on its website where it promoted World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.  Available on this page are special worship liturgies created for the Sundays of 27 May and 3 June, as well as sermon starters and additional aids for children's activities on these Sundays.

    On the evening of 28 May, representatives of Canadian churches gathered in Toronto with Nora Carmi of the Kairos Palestine initiative for an ecumenical worship service to pray for peace, using the "Come and See" worship liturgy authored by Palestinian Christian theologians.

    The UCC also coordinated a speaking tour featuring Nora Carmi, which included the following public events:

    • 29 May: Nora Carmi addressed the topic of "Fact, Fiction, and Faith: A Palestinian Christian Response to the Occupation."
    • 30 May: Nora Carmi spoke on the theme, "A Moment of Truth: Facts and Faith."  In this address, primarily to an audience of theological students and educators, Nora addressed the need to challenge the misuse of religion as a tool to maintain the occupation.  She also spoke about the recent CBS "60 Minutes" report on the plight of Palestinian Christians.

    During 1-2 June, a two-day event called, "It's Time for Palestine, It's Time for Peace," was held in Vernon, British Columbia.  This event featured Hanna and Marion Kawas (Vancouver BC Voice of Palestine) and Karen DeVito (Tahrir CBG Flotilla).  Workshops and dialogue were designed to lead to a practical response to the Kairos Call, in cooperation with Kairos Canada, Vernon Branch.  Additional presentations were based on the "Life on the Ground" report written by CPT member Johann Funk, a focus on media manipulation, and an expose of Christian Zionism using the movie, "With God on our Side."

    Youth from local churches in British Columbia made cards of "care", and sent these messages to children in the schools of Aida refugee camp in the West Bank.

    The Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario of the United Church of Canada prayed for the people of Palestine during the Week, and voted in favor of intentional study of the issues in Palestine.  It also voted to support measures that will put pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian people and land.

    The 2012 Living Courage Tour, an initiative of KAIROS Canada, visited Canadian communities from 6 to 24 June to continue conversations and inspire action on human rights.  In October 2011, the first Living Courage Tour generated energy and momentum as it travelled from Penelakut, British Colombia, to Montréal, Québec.  The 2012 Living Courage Tour built on this momentum as it visited communities in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Toronto, and Saskatchewan.  Participating in this tour was Lucy Talgieh, Women’s Project Coordinator at Wi’am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center in Bethlehem.


    FinnChurchAid and EAPPI launched a consumer campaign against settlement goods to coincide with the Week.  This campaign demands that the government bans labeling of settlement products as "Made in Israel".  Campaign materials include a leaflet and postcard that people can give to their local shop managers or drop in customer feedback boxes in shops; a model letter to heads of supermarket chains in their HQs; and an online petition targeting several ministers and asking them to introduce compulsory labelling and act against companies cooperating with settlements.


    In advance of the Week, a conference was organized by Jeunes Palestiniens en Chemin on 30 April in Annemasse, featuring Salah Hamouri and Jean-Claude Lefort.

    On 25 May, an ecumenical liturgy was observed in Avignon.  Additional ecumenical worship services were held throughout the week in Beziers, Pezenas, Clermont l'Herault, and Montpellier.

    On 31 May, the Associations Oecuméniques in Montpellier issued a statement of support and fraternity to Christian sisters and brothers in Palestine Israel.

    On 1 June, the network Christians of the Mediterranean (Chretiens de la Mediterranne) hosted a presentation by Ambassador Afif Safieh entitled, "War on Peace in Jerusalem."  In addition, poems by Mahmoud Darwish were read by Palestinian artists. The event was held at the Palais du Luxembourg, the seat of the French Senate, Paris.

    On 2 June, Secours Catholique in Avignon hosted a presentation by Abdel Maseeh Yunan, coordintator of Caritas Jerusalem.

    On 8 June in Marseille, Christians of the Mediterranean is sponsoring a discussion on the theme, "The Holy Land Needs Peace”.  The speaker will be Abdel Maseeh Yunan, a Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem and Project Coordinator for Youth at Caritas Jerusalem.

    Pax Christi France publicized the Week in its monthly newsletter and encouraged its members to participate.


    On 30 May, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation in Bielefeld joined with its sister Protestant Reformed church for an ecumenical prayer service for peace, which included resources prepared especially for the Week.  Following the service, a participant in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme (EAPPI) gave a report.

    Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst - EED), an association of the Protestant Churches in Germany, sent a video message of support and solidarity to the Palestinian Christian community during the Week.


    The India Solidarity Ecumenical Network-Kairos Palestine organized a number of events and activities to be held during World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.  These included ecumenical worship services, letters of support and solidarity to the Palestinian people, the creation of advocacy materials, educational forums, and outreach to students on university and college campuses.

    The Council for Social Justice and Peace in Goa organized a number of events for 2 June: a Mass using liturgy developed for the Week, an educational session on the plight of Palestinian Christians, and a letter writing campaign in support of Palestinians.  The Council will also be promoting a "transformative pilgrimage" to Palestine by a group from Goa.

    The Student Christian Movement of India conducted worship services, organized educational programs, and performed acts of advocacy in support of a just peace for Palestinians during the Week, and issued a powerful statement of solidarity on behalf of its membership.

    On 3 June, the Student Christian Movement of India - North East India region observed the Week.  More than one hundred delegates were present from all parts of North East India to observe and show solidarity with the people of Palestine Israel.  SCMI members led a program of prayer, Bible reading, and reflection.  Dr. CR Lyngdoh gave a message of peace, looking at the problems and issues faced by the people of Palestine and Israel.  A signature and handprint campaign to show our solidarity toward the people of Palestine and Israel was made and signed by all participants.  The SCMI-NEI region conveyed a message that the students of North East India pray, educate, and advocate for justice and peace for the people of Palestine and Israel.

    On 7 June, the YWCA of Secunderabad held a Quiet Hour as part of its observance of World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.  Members were invited to come for Christian worship, to pray for peace in Palestine Israel, and to have a meaningful fellowship with each other, as an expression of support for peace and justice in Palestine.  The YWCA of Secunderabad participated in this process as a member of the India Solidarity Ecumenical Network- Palestine (ISEN-P), and to show support for the YWCA of Palestine.


    On 30 May, a panel discussion on the subject "Children of the Occupation" was held at St. Mark's Church of Ireland, the Mall, Armagh.  This event was sponsored by EAPPI Ireland and Quaker Peace and Social Witness, and was chaired by Rev. Sandra Pragnell of Friends of Sabeel.


    Pax Christi Italy
    translated many of the resources prepared for World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel 2012 and distributed them across their national network for use in local communities during the Week.


    During World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel and in the months thereafter, Kerk in Actie will be placing an emphasis on "fair tourism", in response to the call of Palestinian Christians: "Come and See!"

    Former EAPPI volunteers will translate many of the materials prepared for the Week into Dutch, so that churches may use the liturgies, studies, and other materials over the coming months.  Former EAs will also be available for presentations and speaking engagements, especially on displacement issues.


    CAPAD used the liturgical materials to conduct worship services in all the circuits headquarters of the Methodist Church and Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion in Ibadan.

    Advocacy and educational materians prepared for the Week were shared with students of an ecumenical seminary, to inform them of the realities facing Palestinian Christians, so that they may further educate their communities.


    The following events were scheduled across Norway during the Week (more details in Norwegian are available here):

    • Tuesday 29 May, Trondheim:  Seminar with Mrs. Abla Naser (president of YWCA East Jerusalem) and Camilla Winsnes (former EA), organized by The Norwegian Church Academy Movement/Norwegian Church Aid
    • Wednesday 30 May, Trondheim:  Meeting between Abla Naser and church employees, organized by Norwegian Church Aid
    • Thursday 31 May, Ålesund:  Solidarity meeting between Rami Kassis (ATG) and relevant local actors, organized by The Karibu Foundation Norway
    • Thursday 31 May, Oslo:  Seminar: Patterns of Palestinian Displacement – past and present (with Abla Naser, as well as other guests – church, political, NGO), organized by Norwegian Church Aid
    • Friday 1 June, Oslo:  Pilgrim tours – lunch meeting with Rami Kassis, and meeting with Rami Kassis, Abla Naser, and the Palestinian Diaspora, organized by The Karibu Foundation Norway
    • Sunday 3 June, Trondheim:  Worship Service in the Nidaros Cathedral, organized by Norwegian Church Aid


    Sabeel included a prayer for participants in World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel in its weekly Wave of Prayer on 24 May.

    The Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre prepared a short video that was used to promote World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.

    The Sumud Story House women, together with Pax Christi Germany, gathered for a time of singing and praying in the Rachel's Tomb area in Bethlehem during the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.

    On 28 May, the Sabeel women’s program journeyed to Hebron for a time of networking, and to see the reality of Palestinian life in Hebron.  The Sabeel group met the Women’s Committee of the Governorate of Hebron, and visited the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Russian church.

    On 30 May, The Arab Educational Institute women’s group and staff, together with Pax Christi members from Munich, Germany, walked, prayed, and sang along the Wall in Bethlehem in the context of the World Week for Peace.  The participants read prayers and wishes in Arabic, English and German received from friends around the world.  A video about this event is available here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOyZaN-lG94&list=UUs1Vsh1oK52zReiIiFPflpQ&index=1&feature=plcp

    On 1 June, Christians gathered to worship and pray at the historic Cremisan monastery near Bethlehem. The land belonging to the monastery is under threat of confiscation, in order to enhance Israel's separation barrier between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The convent and 52 families of Beit Jala may soon be deprived of their lands.

    Patriarch Michel Sabbah led the ecumenical service in the fields of Cremisan.  About 200 persons, comprising local Christians and friends from around the world, worshiped in song and prayer.  The congregation called on God to “grant us peace with justice, to save our trees and lands from confiscation and separation, to keep our families united and not displaced, and to free our prisoners and nation from Israeli military occupation.  We proclaim our rights and declare:  WE ARE NOT ABSENT!”

    A video of this Cremisan worship service is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxhKu3LIPTE


    World Week for Peace was marked on three different occasions in Lima:

    • On 31 May, during an end of month mass in Manuel Duato School for children with special needs, Los Olivos, in the north of Lima.
    • On 3 June, at the Sunday liturgy in the barrio of Cerito Libertad near Puente Piedra, a poor district of Lima where the congregation together prayed the Jerusalem Prayer and all received a copy to take home.
    • On 3 June, at the afternoon monthly gathering of the Colaboradores Misioneros Columbanos in the Centro de Estudios Misioneros also in Los Olivos, where there was a short input on the reason for the Week and then a communal recitation of the Jerusalem Prayer projected on to a screen.  Later the prayer was emailed to many on request.


    Churches in the Philippines joined the worldwide commemoration of the Week with prayers, worship, and educational fora in various churches and communities during 28 May – 3 June.

    A public rally was held during the Week in front of the Israeli Embassy, following a series of educational and liturgical evens that informed and built momentum for the public demonstration.

    On 3 June, observances for the Week culminated with an interfaith liturgical service at the Church of the Holy Sacrifice at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.  The service also featured a photo exhibit under the leadership of two Ecumenical Accompaniers to Palestine.

    Furthermore, the Week served as a launch for year-round advocacy events on university campuses, in churches, and in similar venues to raise the awareness of the issue of Palestine.

    During 13-15 June, Peace for Life sponsored a second round of training for future Ecumenical Accompaniers.   This three-day training event in Quezon City prepared six Philipinos to serve in the World Council of Churches' EAPPI program in the West Bank, adding to the critical mass of people advocating for an end to the occupation and pursuing genuine peace in Palestine and Israel.

    Following the Week, numerous educational events will be held on various campuses during the year. The first one took place at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on 26 June, where hundreds of students attended a forum on "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Towards Peace Based on Justice." The Forum was jointly sponsored by the People's Forum of Peace for Life and the Political Science Forum of UST, as part of World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel activities.

    For the fourth year in a row, the commemoration of the Week was spearheaded by Peace for Life, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the Philippine Interfaith Solidarity Forum on Palestine, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum, CONTAK Philippines and the multisectoral group headed by Bayan, an alliance of Filipino patriots.

    South Africa

    At its synod meeting during 23-26 May, one Anglican diocese voted on a resolution that calls on its membership to support Palestinians living under occupation, and to observe World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel in every congregation across the diocese.  

    On 31 May, the Palestine Solidarity committee in Cape Town screened the documentary film "Roadmap to Apartheid" at a local cinema.  The committee promoted the Week at this event and encouraged participation.

    In worship services on 3 June, prayers written for the day by Palestinian Christians were integrated into the liturgies, and sermons were offered focusing on the issue of displacement, relating it to the local context.

    Kairos Southern Africa has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (United States), urging them to act in support of an end of the Israeli occupation and for justice for all in Palestine.

    South Korea

    A representative of Kairos Palestine toured and spoke in the country, and took part in worship and a symposium with Korean church leaders during the Week.  The symposium included a presentation of the situation in Palestine, theological reflection on the "promised land", and programs of solidarity action.


    On 3 June, the documentary film "Jaffa, la mécanique de l'orange" ("Jaffa, the Orange's Clockwork") by Eyal Sivan (2009) was shown, followed by a discussion and a shared meal, at the Protestant parish in Chêne-Bougeries, Geneva.

    German-language resources for World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel were distributed to churches across the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, for use by congregations during the Week.


    The National Forum of Church Leaders agreed that all Tongan churches would participate in the Week, and requested ministry leaders across the country to include prayers for a peaceful settlement between Palestine and Israel in all services of worship held on Sunday 27 May 2012.  Prayers and other worship resources prepared for the Week were distributed to all churches throughout Tonga, to encourage full participation in this nationwide event.


    Members of the United Methodist Church in Ukraine prayed for peace in Palestine Israel during worship on 3 June.

    United Kingdom

    Just before the Week began, the Church of Scotland held an open event in the Gardens of Princes Street in Edinburgh, at which an eight-meter high banner replicating the Separation Wall was erected, to give visitors an idea of what the wall is like.  Information cards about the Week were also distributed.  Over 5000 people passed through the gardens on the day.

    In addition, the Church of Scotland also hosted an Edinburgh event with Mark Braverman, and in the denominational General Assembly there was an interesting debate on Gaza.

    The Iona community hosted an event on the Isle of Iona from 26 May to 1 June entitled, "Kairos: Seeking Peace", featuring guest speaker Rabbi Mark Braverman.

    A roundtable on religion and race was held in London from 28 May to 1 June.  Delegates to the roundtable from Kairos Southern Africa requested that the organizers integrate World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel into this event.

    On 31 May, Friends House in London hosted a vigil, comprising a time of silence, readings, and prayers for a just peace.  The vigil was organized by Pax Christi, EAPPI, and the United Reformed Church-Commitment for Life.

    On 31 May, Rabbi Danny Rich, current president of the Council for Christians and Jews and a representative of Rabbis for Human Rights, spoke at St. John's Church, Alresford.

    On 2 June, St. John's Church, Alresford, held a day-long vigil for peace.

    During the Week, friends of Palestine in Birmingham prayed for peace, and sent their prayers to Christian communities in Palestine.

    United States

    Delegates to the quadrennial United Methodist Church General Conference prayed the Jerusalem Prayer, as part of the conference's opening ceremonies on 23 April.

    At its assembly on 2 June, the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a resolution calling on its congregations to study the Kairos document and undertake other educational initiatives, to support and cooperate with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land in its ministry, and to encourage pilgrims to visit holy sites and Christians in both Israel and the West Bank and to spend time in fellowship and worship with Lutheran brothers and sisters living in the land.

    On 3 June, Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, hosted a special conversation with Father Michael McGarry, CSP, on the topic, “And When I Left, My Heart Wept for Both of Them”: Reflections on Eleven Years of Living on the Seam Between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  Father McGarry is the 18th president of the Paulist Fathers, and served as rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies in Jerusalem.


    Vatican Radio promoted an interview about World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel in its English-language radio broadcasts during the week.