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August 30, 2001

The Rt. Rev. Bishop Munib A. Younan
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan

Dear Bishop Younan,

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA sends greetings to you and to your beleaguered flock in this most difficult hour.

Your urgent news release about the Israeli army's operation in the town of Beit Jala and about its entrance into Lutheran holy places was most timely and useful. It was a resource to us in making a strong denunciation of this latest violence perpetrated by Israel upon the Palestinian people.

We were deeply distressed by the Israeli military actions that you describe, and that were also reported by U.S. media, which have served to exacerbate the situation in the Holy Land. As one response, we asked President Bush and Secretary of State Powell to continue to press Israel to comply with its agreement to withdraw its army from Beit Jala. We are relieved that a withdrawal has occurred and hope that it will not be temporary. We are also asking our national government to support the deployment of multinational observers to promote peace, justice and security in the Occupied Territories.

At the same time, many of our churches are calling upon the authorities involved to secure the safety of all people and to insist on the inviolability of all church buildings, schools and orphanages.

Finally, we join you in urging both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to end the counter-productive cycle of violence and intimidation in order to resume dialogue toward a hopeful future of common living in justice and peace.

Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

cc: Middle East Council of Churches

Link to:

NCC News Story 8/30/01: "Edgar Writes Bush, Jerusalem Church Leaders with Concern About Israeli Military Occupation of Beit Jala"

Dr. Edgar's Letter to President Bush
Dr. Edgar's Letter to Five Church Leaders in Jerusalem
18 U.S. Church Leaders' June 7, 2001, Letter to Colin Powell

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