In December 2022 National Bishop Susan Johnson and Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church in Canada visited the Holy Land. They heard from church leaders about the increasing fragility of the Christian presence, which is primarily Palestinian. In recent years attacks on the Christian community and their places of worship have increased in frequency and severity.
In August, 2022 St. Andrew’s Church, Ramallah was raided by Israeli forces seeking the offices of a human rights organization, Al-Haq, which rented space in the building but had a separate entrance.
And on New Year’s Day more than 30 graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem were desecrated. Crosses were broken and headstones toppled and smashed.
Bishop Susan and Archbishop Linda wrote the Prime Minister expressing their concern that Canada’s continued silence on the escalation of assaults of various kinds against Christians by Israel’s religious extremists and illegal settlers, emboldens such violations of international law and universal human rights. You can read their letter here.
Following the synagogue shooting in East Jerusalem on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Bishop Susan and Archbishop Linda wrote PM Trudeau again expressing their sorrow and condemnation of the January 27 attack. In their letter they implore the Canadian government to continue to advocate with the current Israeli government to promote de-escalation through a reversal of increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and policies, and to encourage similar commitments from the Palestinian Authority to advancing safety for all. You can read the Bishops' second letter here.