Christian Leaders Pledge Support for Peace Effort

Saying there is "no greater work than the psalmist's call to 'seek peace and pursue it,'" nearly five dozen Christian leaders have pledged their support to President Barack Obama in his effort to end the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and open a new era of U.S.-Muslim relations. In a June 4 letter sent to the White House after Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt, the leaders said they were pleased to hear about the president's clear commitment "to sustained, hands-on diplomacy" to secure safety and peace for Palestinians and Israelis and offered to rally Christians nationwide to support the effort. Representing Catholic, Episcopal, Protestant, Orthodox, African-American and evangelical churches, the Christian leaders said the political stalemate between Palestinians and Israelis requires a "strong, helping hand" to negotiate an agreement between long-warring people in the region. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace, was among the signatories. He said the president's position paralleled that of the bishops. "We are very pleased that the president has now chosen to take the personal initiative to address this issue and in his speech made it very clear that this will be a priority for him in this administration," Bishop Hubbard said.

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