*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Bishops welcome MPs' vote on Palestine

17 October 2014

iSTOCK

Holy Land: a Palestinian man stands above a village on the outskirts of Bethlehem 

Holy Land: a Palestinian man stands above a village on the outskirts of Bethlehem 

BISHOPS from both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have supported a vote by MPs on Monday to recognise Palestine as a state.

In a joint statement before the vote, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, and the RC Bishop of Clifton, the Rt Revd Declan Lang, said that recognition of Palestine would help bring peace to the region.

"We believe that the right of Palestinians for such statehood has been long overdue. Given the benchmarks established by international law and universal legitimacy, and in light of the support offered by the Christian Church in the Holy Land, we believe Palestinians should also have a state that they can at long last call home."

The motion was backed in the House of Commons by 274 to 12, but is purely symbolic and not binding on the Government, which continues to argue that such recognition is premature. Labour Party MPs were ordered to vote in favour, but more than half of all MPs did not attend the debate.

A letter urging recognition was sent to parliament on the eve of the vote by more than 100 Palestinian Church leaders, including former Latin and Greek Orthodox Patriarchs.

"Christians have a duty to resist oppression," the letter stated. "Ending Israeli occupation is the only way for Palestinians, Christians, and Muslims, to enjoy a life of prosperity and progress. It is also the surest way to secure continued Christian presence in this, our Holy Land."

The chief executive of Christian charity Embrace the Middle East, Jeremy Moodey, said in a statement the Government should not ignore the result of the vote: "Britain has done much to contribute to the current mess . . . [including] this current Government's near unqualified support for Israel. Some 64 years after we recognised Israel, the British Parliament has now finally acknowledged that Palestinians are entitled to their own state."

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available

 

 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)