Statement on 2023 Israel-Hamas War

“My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?”

Psalm 6:3


We expect to see God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven as we work toward a world where wars cease” 

(From the MCC Statement of Faith)

Prayers are ascending for the Middle East from the Council of Elders of Metropolitan Community Churches, and we call on people of peace everywhere to join us in lament, truth-telling, hope, and intercession for justice and peace.

We stand with the United Nations in calling for a cease-fire, release of all captives, and unhindered access for humanitarian aid to Gaza.




On October 7th 2023, 50 years after the beginning of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, at least 5,000 rockets were launched by Hamas, killing around 1,400 people, mainly civilians. Hundreds of civilian hostages, including children and elderly people were taken to Gaza. Israel retaliated by cutting off food, water, electricity, and fuel supplies to Gaza, and began airstrikes which killed over 5,000 Palestinians. Around one million Palestinians (around one half of the population of the Gaza strip) have fled, and are displaced from their homes.




Our hearts are broken by:

  • the loss of precious life, including civilian life, by rockets and airstrikes
  • the raping, killing, and taking of hostages, including children and elderly 
  • the desolation of so many with the bombings in Israel and Palestine, 
  • shortages of food, water, electricity, and fuel, 
  • the displacement of around one million people in Gaza.

With the Psalmist we cry “how long?”, because the hostilities in the Middle East don’t seem to have any solution in sight, and just seem to get worse. Our faith teaches that wars cease in the reign of God, but in moments like this, the hope seems almost too impossible. It can be difficult to know what to pray or where to begin in a situation of such complexity and contested history. 




We echo Rev. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace, writing in Religion News Service; “Christians should stand with people, not states. We should stand with Israelis — and Palestinians. Thousands of people have experienced utter devastation in the past several days due to the brutal and horrific attacks of Hamas, the rockets from Gaza, the bombs from Israel and the armed conflict on the ground. Civilians always pay the highest cost for war.”


As a Christian movement, Metropolitan Community Church stands in the tradition of Abrahamic faiths which trace their origin story to the holy lands. We are not mere bystanders in this dispute. We are members of this spiritual family.


The Christian tradition has sometimes been a perpetrator of violence in the Middle East (such as during the Crusades), and sometimes been caught in the crossfire (as both Arabic and Israeli Christians may be). We are now watching our beloved siblings suffering in this dispute. So, our stance can include grief for the wrongs done, unconditional love for every one hurt, and undying hope that a way to peace can be found. 


Before we offer any solution based on our political ideology, or loyalties, we must first do the work of naming and renouncing Christian militarism, and the impulse of Christian political movements to expand Western power, and interventions in the Middle East which escalate, instead of de-escalating, this conflict.


To become people of peace, and doers of justice in this situation, we must take practical steps in our own communities, being open to inter-faith dialogue, and refusing to listen to, affirm, or spread the poisons of Islamophobia and Antisemitism.




As lovers of truth, justice, and peace, we cannot give up our hope that they can be attained, even when we do not fully understand the way forward. Christians in Israel have recently found themselves singing the song "Way Maker", by Nigerian worship leader Sinach, translated into Arabic and Hebrew, as a symbol of this hope.


These are the words of the chorus:


أنت صانعٌ طريقاً

حافظُ الوعدِ

نورٌ في الظلمة

ربي انت هذا الإله


Transliterated: 'ant sane tryqaan, hafz alwedi, nwr fi alzulmati, rabiy ant hadha al'iilahi.


פּוֹרֵץ דֶּרֶךְ

 עוֹשֶׂה פֶּלֶא.

שׁוֹמֵר הַבְּרִית,

אוֹר גַּם בַּחֹשֶׁךְ

אָדוֹן, זֶה מִי שֶׁאַתָּה


Transliterated: poretz derech, oseh feleh, Shomer habrit, or gam bechoshech, adon zeh mi she'atah.


English original: Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, My God, That Is Who You Are.


Intercession for Justice and Peace


Jon Lovett, American political podcast and former Obama aide:

“Israel will not be free unless Palestine is free. Palestine will not be free unless Israel is safe. Israel will not be safe unless Palestine has hope for a better future.”

So we pray for freedom, safety, and the hope of justice and peace.

  • We lift prayer for safety and protection for Israelis and Palestinians
  • We lift prayer for truth-telling and diplomacy
  • We lift prayer for clear pathways for sustained humanitarian aid
  • We lift prayer for justice to be done, not merely retribution or win-lose victory, but real fairness which will create the best path to lasting peace

And we close with this ancient blessing, which Moses said in Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם (shalom aleichem, Muhummad said in Arabic: ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ (as-salamu alaykum), and which we now say in our own language: peace be upon you.


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