In a new letter released during Holy Week, more than 140 bishops and executive leaders from churches, denominations and church-based organizations in the U.S. and around the world call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, urge the U.S. and other world powers to halt additional arms sales to Israel, and make clear that Israel, the U.S. and all countries must abide by Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

In addition to Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, the letters’ signers included notable figures from a wide range of churches, including Protestant, U.S. Catholic, Orthodox, Mennonite, Quaker, evangelical and other traditions.

“As Christians around the world prepare to commemorate the final suffering in the earthly life of Jesus Christ during Holy Week, we stand in solidarity with all in the Holy Land who suffer,” the leaders wrote in the letter to U.S. President Joe Biden and other politicians. “During Passion Week, Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox alike engage in prayer, reflection, and repentance. We repent of the ways we have not stood alongside our Palestinian siblings in faithful witness in the midst of their grief, agony, and sorrow.

“We, as global Christian leaders, stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Palestine and around the world and say the killing must stop, and the violence must be brought to an end,” the letter continued. “We ask world leaders to exercise strong moral courage to bring an immediate end to the violence and to open a pathway toward peace and an end to the conflict.”

Read the full letter.

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