Back to top

Archbishop meets West Bank Anglican priest

JMECA Director Dr Yazid Said sets the scene for the Archbishop's statement

As Western Christians prepare to celebrate the rising of Jesus Christ from the tomb in his glorified body, it was encouraging to hear of the Archbishop of Canterbury's meeting with one of our Anglican priests in Palestine, Fr Fadi Diab, reflecting on the current state of reality for the local Palestinian Christian communities and the wider Palestinian people, and reminding us of the importance of our faith in the Resurrection for leading lives that take the health of our bodies very seriously.

Such a task is a challenge to those living under the yoke of the current conflict in the Holy Land. We are reminded here that the toll on the communities is not just in Gaza but across the diocese of Jerusalem for clergy, institutions and ordinary people who are unable to continue their daily lives. Our faith in the risen Christ has to be bound up with care for suffering communities. Whilst it is only Christ who can heal us in every respect, we hope that such encouraging and supportive meetings as this one will help us show the world something of the nature of our comprehensive faith and hope and push us to put our energies to work for healing, justice and peace.

The Archbishop's statement in full....

The Archbishop pictured with Fr Fadi
Photo: Lambeth Palace

I was delighted to meet today with my brother in Christ, the Reverend Fadi Diab, the Anglican priest from St Andrew’s Ramallah in Palestine.  

In listening to him I heard again how the war in Gaza has upended life in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and created untold misery and suffering to thousands of families.  

Roadblocks, closures and the suspension of work permits have pushed countless families into poverty.  

The withholding of tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority has pushed basic services and critical infrastructure to the edge of collapse.  

The arming of settlers in the illegal settlements of the West Bank has intensified violence and contributed to a level of death and destruction not seen since the Second Intifada.  

The senseless killing of Rami Hamdan Al Halhouli, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in East Jerusalem earlier this week, underlines all that is wrong with this cruel and horrific war.  

A 12-year-old holding a firework is not a terrorist but simply an innocent child holding a firework. There is no justification for his death. 

This war and its killing needs to end and it needs to end now. All hostages need to be released. Immediate and unrestricted aid must be secured to address the famine-like conditions in Gaza. 

I give thanks to the ministry of Father Fadi Diab at this critical time, and

I pray that God will guide and watch over him, the wider Diocese of Jerusalem, and all Christian churches as they provide comfort and support to those most in need.