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Major church organizations speak on Israel-Hamas war: “Jesus Christ is our Peace”

Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2023. 3:15 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: As war rages in the Holy Land, Belize’s two leading church organizations, the Belize Council of Churches and the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), have separately expressed disappointment with the Government’s decision to suspend ties with Israel and added their voices to the near-universal call for a return to peace.

Belmopan’s “unfortunate” decision taken this week, the Council says, “increases obstacles for Belizeans wanting to visit the Holy Land… and fails to foster the dialogue necessary for peace.”

NEAB goes further, accusing the Government of failing to condemn Hamas’ actions in the same breath as Israel and asking, “What if that was Belize? What would Belize do?” It mentions the recent actions of countries like Russia and Venezuela against their neighbors for which Belize has not suspended consular relations (although the Government has repeatedly condemned the actions of both countries on its own and in the case of Venezuela through CARICOM).

The former references Ephesians 2:14 to say that approaching Advent and Christmas season, “As we approach the celebration of the moment when God uniquely entered into our conflict on earth as a baby born in Bethlehem, we call to mind that there is no lasting peace except the peace that is rooted in Jesus Christ. Christ “is our peace.”… This peace comes by way of justice, and respect for all persons created in the image and likeness of God.”

It adds that religion “can never be the reason for intolerance, or war” and that “War is evil (one of the consequences of a ‘fallen’ humanity), and nobody wins with war.” The Council also mentions and commends those assisting in providing aid to the suffering. It encourages Belizean Christians to stay in solidarity with them, work for a ceasefire and ultimately peace through diplomacy and dialogue, and avoid the temptation of fostering hatred of any group or division – “For there is no peace without justice, but no justice without forgiveness.”

The Evangelicals conclude, “War is a very terrible thing, and we pray for this to end! We pray for peace in the region and for amicable solutions for all involved. The innocent civilians caught in harm’s way are the victims, regardless of where they are from. Jesus died for Jews, Palestinians, gentiles, all of us. We implore the nation of Belize to join us in praying for a peaceful end to the conflict.”

 

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