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US church leaders urge Obama to make peace in Holy Land a priority

 Bishop Howard J Hubbard of Albany, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), joined other American Christian leaders in calling on President-elect Barack Obama to make Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority of his first year in office.

In a December 1 letter, the leaders urged the incoming Obama Administration to "provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement" that will establish a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

Bishop Hubbard said: "This conflict continues to undermine the social, economic and spiritual fabric of the lives of all persons in the region, including Christians who have lived in the Holy Land since the earliest days of our faith. With majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians supporting a durable peace, it is incumbent on their political leaders and our own to do everything possible to help bring about a just peace."

Representing a broad spectrum of Christianity including Catholic, Orthodox, mainline Protestant, Evangelical and historic African American churches, the leaders called on all Christians to support "vigorous US diplomatic efforts to secure Middle East peace."

The letter is being followed by a broad grassroots campaign aimed at mobilizing American Christian church members nationwide. The final letter, signed by both Christian leaders and congregants, will be delivered to President Obama during the time of his inauguration.

The text of the letter, the list of signers, and a form for adding one's name to the list of signers are available at: www.cmep.org/letter

Source: USCCB