Letter from the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches to Mr. Shimon PERES

Jerusalem, November 24,2001

His Excellency

Mr Shimon PERES,

Minister for Foreign Affairs,


Your Excellency,

The Patriarchs and Heads of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem during their meeting early in August considered the difficult situation in the Holy Land.

They launched a campaign of prayer for peace in churches for fourteen consecutive days (October 15 to 28). They called on their faithful to join in prayers in their churches all around the Country, inviting at the same time all Jews and Moslems to join praying in their synagogues and mosques to ask God Almighty to help the people and their Authorities in laying down all hatred, hostility and violence.

They also organized a March for Peace to Bethlehem to the Church of the Nativity on 23 October 2001.

At the same time the Patriarchs and Heads of the Christian Churches decided to undertake an initiative asking the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate for a definitive peace plan to be implemented as soon as possible. Actually, both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples have suffered too much from the present conditions and from the loss of many lives.

We have asked to meet His Excellency the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Arafat. We had an audience with President Arafat, but we feel sorry to have waited long time without being able to meet the Prime Minster, probably due his many engagements.

However, on October 14 we were advised by the Prime Minister's Office to meet with Your Excellency, and after contacts with your office, the date November 26 was confirmed and the names of the delegation were submitted for the consideration of the items submitted.

Therefore, we are sending a delegation on our behalf to study with Your Excellency a way to hasten the time when we shall see peace reign on this Land Holy to all its inhabitants.

May God help us all to work for the quick establishment of a just and lasting peace.

With the expression of our esteem.

+ Irenios I                                           + Michel Sabbah                        + Torkum II Manogian

Greek Orthodox Patriarch                       Latin Patriarch                             Armenian Orthodox Patriarch