Archbishop Hosam Naoum requests prayer for peace in the Holy Land and issues appeal for Al Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza

18 May 2021

The Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum, has called on Anglicans and all Christians to pray for peace in the Holy Land. He also highlights the extraordinary work of the Diocese of Jerusalem’s Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, providing emergency medical care in the midst of the conflict. The Most Revd. Hosam Naoum was installed as the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem on Ascension Day last week.

In his statement issued yesterday, Archbishop Hosam said: “Over the past week, we have seen the rapid escalation of violence throughout the Holy Land: in the air attacks launched against Gaza and Central Israel, in the rioting between extremists in ethnically mixed cities, and in the continuing conflicts between protesters and police over the pending evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, of which Saint George’s Cathedral is a part. It is particularly disheartening that this violence erupted out of police disrespect of Muslim sacred sites and traditions in Jerusalem during the various religious feasts.

“We know from sad experience that violence and hatred will never lead to solutions to the deep ethnic and religious divisions that have afflicted this region now for a century. We therefore call upon the authorities on both sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza conflict in order to end the rain of death and destruction that has had tragic consequences for thousands of individuals and families.

“We also call on Israeli authorities to restore order and calm within the ethnically mixed cities where rioting has broken out, so that the human and civil rights of all are protected equally. Finally, we call upon the United Nations and the international community to work with all parties to seriously address the underlying injustices and grievances that have led to this latest unrest in a recurring cycle of violence, working for a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis that incorporates a viable Two-State Solution.”

Archbishop Hosam also highlighted his diocese’s courageous ministry in providing emergency medical care in the midst of conflict and the urgent need for support to Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. He explained: “In the meantime, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is continuing its Christian mission of bringing healing to the wounded, relief to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and comfort to those who mourn the loss of loved ones. Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza has been on the frontlines of these relief efforts, becoming a beacon of hope to those trying to remain alive under such dire circumstances.

“But they are overwhelmed and in desperate need of upwards of 1.6 million USD to obtain fuel for hospital generators, and to purchase emergency medicine and medical supplies so that the doctors and nurses who are working around the clock can meet the crushing flow of injured and traumatized victims in this conflict.”

He concluded: “I therefore issue an appeal to our international partners and all people of goodwill to support this humanitarian mission through their generous contributions to Al Ahli Hospital, enabling them to show forth the compassionate love of Christ in real and tangible ways in these desperate circumstances.”

The Anglican Alliance has been in touch with partners around the Communion. Please see below the links to the appeals supporting Al Ahli Hospital at this crucial time.

Dominus Flevit, Jerusalem. Berthold Werner

Joel Kelling, Anglican Alliance Middle East Facilitator, is in close touch with the Diocese of Jerusalem to support this appeal and other responses. Joel reflected prayerfully on his context: “We mourn the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost and damaged in bloody violence. Our hearts are anguished that young children need to be taught how to respond to incoming shells, bombs and rockets, unable to sleep, in bomb shelters or without them. We cry for those hurt and killed who were unable to escape to safety, the young, the elderly, and the migrant labourer. We remember those working in medical facilities, already overwhelmed by a year of response to the Coronavirus pandemic, now attempting to heal broken bodies is difficult and dangerous situations, particularly praying for Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza.

“As we await Pentecost… we pray, Come, Holy Spirit, come. Strengthen us to be bringers of peace and reconciliation, comfort us in our distress and bring us hope.”

Archbishop Hosam concluded his statement with a call to prayer, saying: “I ask those within the Anglican Communion and all of Christendom to join with us in offering the following prayer”.

Almighty and Everlasting God: Our days are in your hands;
we lift up all those in the Holy Land who are victims of violence and injustice,
that you might empower your Church
to bring healing to the wounded,
relief to the suffering,
and comfort to those who mourn;
we pray also that you would soften the hearts of all those involved in the recent conflicts,
that they would be led to work for justice and lasting peace in the land where your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ first came to bring hope and abundant life to all people;
these things we ask in his Holy Name. Amen.

Please pray for justice and lasting peace in the Holy Land. We also encourage you to respond to Archbishop Hosam’s appeal for Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Here are the links to appeals and stories from various Anglican and Episcopal agencies and dioceses around the Communion:

Anglican Board of Mission, Australia, appeal

Anglican Missions, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, appeal

Anglican Overseas Aid, Australia,  story and rapid response emergency fund

Episcopal Relief & Development, USA, Facebook post and Middle East fund

Friends of the Holy Land, UK, link

JMECA, UK, appeal

PWRDF, Canada, appeal; also links on Facebook to Anglican Church of Canada, message from Primate.

Diocese of Southwark, Church of England, video piece.