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Our bishops pray and call for peace in Israel and Palestine

First published on: 9th October 2023

Following the recent violence in Israel and Palestine, the six bishops of the Diocese of Leeds have made a statement calling for peace and justice.

This can be read below.

"As bishops in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, we are horrified by the devastation that has erupted over the last two days in Israel and Gaza. We fully support the statement made by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York who write: 'We are grieved and deeply concerned at the violence in Israel and Gaza, and we unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas. We pray for those who are mourning, those who are injured, and all those fearing for their safety. We pray for restraint on all sides, and renewed efforts towards a just peace for all. The way forward must be for both sides to build confidence in a secure future through which Israel and its people can live in security within its internationally recognised borders, and Palestinians have their own state and live in their lands in security, and with peace and justice.'

"We too utterly condemn any terrorism or violence against civilians and we urge restraint on all sides. We pray for an end to the violence and for a just settlement without which there can be no lasting peace. Every life counts.

"Our concern here in the Diocese of Leeds is also for those in our own neighbourhoods who are directly affected by the violence, particularly our Jewish communities who may be afraid for loved ones in Israel or for a rise in antisemitic attacks here at home. Palestinians and others here in Yorkshire will be worried, too, for loved ones who may be caught up in the violence. We are aware that the attacks in Israel and Gaza will be causing dismay, anger and fear in many here, especially in our schools and colleges. Already there are voices using the war between Hamas and Israel to demonise whole communities and to destabilise the peace that we so value in our cities and towns. We appreciate the efforts of fellow religious and community leaders who are working to de-escalate tensions and to foster respect and dialogue and we commit ourselves, with them, to working and praying for peace."

Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds

Rt Revd Anna Eltringham, Bishop of Ripon

Rt Revd Arun Arora, Bishop of Kirkstall

Rt Revd Smitha Prasadam, Bishop of Huddersfield

Rt Revd Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford

Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield

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