Members of the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury

JERUSALEM, 2 February 2012 (CRIHL) – Members of The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land met with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Willams and the British Consul General Sir Vincent Fean, in the Lutheran Church. Rev Dr Trond Bakkevig convener of the Council gave an overview of the councils work and highlighted the unique work of the council against incitement and abuse of Holy places. The Archbishop welcomed the Council in assisting in the interfaith efforts in the UK.

Click here or on the photo above to view more photos from the day.

Click here to view the original article on the CRIHL website.

Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land Release Statement

JERUSALEM, 7 December 2011 – The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land condemns the acts of desecration of the mosque in the village of Burkin in the northern West Bank yesterday. The Council calls upon people from all faiths – Christians, Jews and Muslims – to respect all Holy Places and sites for all three religions, and strongly discourages extremists’ behaviour that exploits or involves religion in a political/territorial dispute.

In the name of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs at the PA and The Heads of the Local Churches of the Holy Land,The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land

 

CRIHL Releases Statement in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations

ERUSALEM, September 21, 2010 – The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (CRIHL) met in Jerusalem on Monday, September 20, and drafted the following statement which was copied to Senator Mitchell in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations:

September 21, 2010

The Honorable Senator George Mitchell
US Special Envoy to the Middle East
c/o David Hale, Deputy Special Envoy to the Middle East

Dear Senator Mitchell,

The Council of the Religious Institutions of the holy Land (CRIHL) representing the high official Israeli and Palestinian religious authorities, welcomes and supports the resumption of peace negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian governments in the spirit of peace, justice and reconciliation.

The CRIHL wishes to thank the US administration for its ongoing efforts and reiterates the importance of respecting the religious attachments of the three religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – in the holy land and especially in Jerusalem. The members of the CRIHL accordingly encourage all parties to persist in this process and reaffirm the conviction that it is our shared responsibility to find the right way to live together in peace.

In accordance with the declaration of the religious leaders of the CRIHL when hosted in Washington DC, “we urge all those in positions of leadership involved in the negotiations, to seek the advice of religious leadership of our respective communities, especially on issues regarding holy sites and the holy city of Jerusalem” and “to engage religious leadership in efforts to prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and instead serve the goals of just and comprehensive peace and reconciliation.”

Respectfully,
On behalf of the CRIHL,
Rev. Dr. Trond Bakkevig, CRIHL Convener

The CRIHL represents the high religious authorities of the Holy Land: the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Affairs (Waqf), the Palestinian Sharia Courts and the assembly of the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem. For more information, please visit the CRIHL website.

Council demands respect for all religious sites

The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, comprised of leaders of Jerusalem’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, has released a statement calling for respect for the holy sites of all three religions.

The Nov. 13 statement came in response to recent clashes on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The statement reads:

“The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land regrets that the holy sites in Jerusalem continue to be exploited for conflict in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The Council reaffirms its commitment to advancing respect between religious communities in Jerusalem, the protection of each community’s holy sites and their sensitivities.

“Accordingly, in the wake of recent violent events, we express our support for all calls such as that of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein, advocating non-violence and respect for the special and current status of the Al Aqsa Mosque, and the official repeated position of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that it is prohibited by Jewish law (the Halacha) [for Jews] to enter the area.

“Together we call for the respect for the holy sites of all three religions and for peace of Jerusalem.”

Clashes broke out in late September when extremist Jews entered the area with Israeli soldiers, according to a Ma’an News Agency report available here.

This followed reports by the Islamic Christian Society in Support of Jerusalem that said that Israel plans to allow Jewish worshippers exclusive access to the compound to worship on 50 Jewish holidays.

Bishop participates in CRIHL meeting in Lisbon

CRIHL representatives

In late October, representatives of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land and of the Alliance of Civilizations, met in Lisbon at the invitation of Jorge Sampaio, a former president of Portugal. The Alliance is an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General and seeks to galvanize international action against extremism. ELCJHL Bishop Munib Younan said the two organizations agreed to work together and, as a result, expects the UN to better appreciate the role of religious leaders in Palestine-Israel.

Council of Religious Institutions in the HL Meet with Israeli FM Livni, Call for Ceasefire

The Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni today to discuss the potential positive role religious leaders can play in helping to build peace, mutual understanding and reconciliation in the Holy Land. The Council also released a statement declaring the sacredness of human life as a basic premise of all three religions and therefore calling for a ceasefire and end to violence. Last week, the Council released a statement denouncing the recent burnings of Christian Bibles in Or Yehudah.

Click here for the statement calling for a ceasefire.
Click here for the statement on book burnings.

Top Muslim, Christian and Jewish Religious Leaders Call for Justice and Peace

Top religious leaders from Jerusalem – Muslims, Christians and Jews – were invited to Washington to discuss their peace initiative together called the Council for Religious Institutions in the Holy Land.  The group has been working together for more than a year to work together to protect all holy sites, scriptures and symbols.  They released a statement this week:

We, believers from three religions, have been placed in this land, Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is our responsibility to find the right way to live together in peace rather than to fight and kill one other. Palestinians yearn for the end to occupation and for what they see as their inalienable rights. Israelis long for the day when they can live in personal and national security. Together we must find ways of reaching these goals.ges and Holy Communion.

For the full statement, click here. 

During the course of the week, members of the council met with members of Congress and the Bush administration to discuss support for their peace initiatives. The group met Nov. 6 with Sen. Joseph Liebermann (I-CT), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), with more than a dozen House members on Nov. 7 and are scheduled to meet Nov. 8 with David Welch, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs. Younan is also scheduled to meet Nov. 8 with Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ).

For information from Religions for Peace, click here.

For ELCA news service bulletin click here.

The Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land

Washington, D.C.
November 7, 2007

All of us believe in one Creator and Guide of the Universe. We believe that the essence of religion is to worship Him and respect the life and dignity of all human beings, regardless of religion, nationality and gender. We accordingly commit ourselves to using our positions of leadership, and the influence of our good offices, to advance these sacred values, to prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and instead serve the goals of just and comprehensive peace and reconciliation.

Our respective Holy Places have become a major element in our conflict. We lament that this is the case, as our respective attachments to our holy places should not be a cause of bloodshed, let alone be sites of violence or other expressions of hatred. Holy places must remain dedicated to prayer and worship only, places where believers have free access and put themselves in the presence of the Creator. Holy places are there for believers to draw inspiration to strengthen their acceptance and love of Almighty and all His creatures, from all religions and all nationalities. Accordingly each religious community should treat the Holy Sites of the other faiths in a manner that respects their integrity and independence and avoids any act of desecration, aggression or harm.

We, believers from three religions, have been placed in this land, Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is our responsibility to find the right way to live together in peace rather than to fight and kill one other. Palestinians yearn for the end to occupation and for what they see as their inalienable rights. Israelis long for the day when they can live in personal and national security. Together we must find ways of reaching these goals.

Towards these ends we are actively working to:

  • Establish “hot line” procedures of rapid communication among ourselves in order to address and advise government officials regarding issues of protection of and access to Holy Sites before such issues become cause for conflict.
  • Establish mechanisms to monitor media for derogatory representations of any religion, and issue statements in response to such representations.
  • Together reflect on the future of Jerusalem, support the designation of the Old City of Jerusalem as a World Heritage Site, work to secure open access to the Old City for all communities, and seek a common vision for this city which all of us regard as holy.
  • Promote education for mutual respect and acceptance in schools and in the media. We will sponsor a conference for Israeli and Palestinian educators, academics and Ministers of Education on “The Role of Religion in Educating for Peace: Principles and Practices.”
  • Demonstrate through our relations that differences can and should be addressed through dialogue rather than through violence, and strive to bring this message to our respective communities and political leaders that they may embrace this approach accordingly.
  • Provide ongoing consultation to our government leaders, and through the example of our work together remind them that the interests of one community can only be served by also respecting and valuing the humanity and interests of all other communities.