Urgent Call for Peace and a Letter of Thanks to Foreign Minister Penny Wong

Religions for Peace Australia

Religions for Peace Australia responds to the Foreign Minister’s warning to Israel “Do not go down this path“, as the prime ministers of the three countries said in a joint statement on Thursday that Israel “must listen to its friends”. Israel is urged not to proceed with its planned ground assault on Rafah. Religions for Peace Australia thanks the Foreign Minister for calling for an urgent Humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Wednesday 14th February 2024
To: Senator the Honourable Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Minister Wong,

We write as people of Faith and people of Prayer.

As the Executive of Religions for Peace Australia, we write because our prayers alone cannot end the suffering and the massacres occurring across Palestine in the Middle East, in response to the kidnapping of Israeli hostages by Hamas rebels four months ago.

We thank you, as Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, for calling for an urgent Humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. We now add our call for all people of good will to support international progress on a just two state solution that recognises the crucial rights of both Palestinians and Jewish communities to exist.

Finding a way to reinstate Peace is a matter of global urgency, as lines of communication and friendship between the world’s different faith traditions are breaking down. The potential for the escalation of hostilities widening across our world is a real threat to consider in our hearts. This conflict is already damaging social cohesion in Australia, requiring constructive action beyond funding our Jewish and Islamic communities to improve security measures, strengthen laws against hate speech and doxxing.

For many years, Religions for Peace Australia has brought Australian faith communities together in shared Interfaith Prayers for Peace and Harmony – from the 2019 Christchurch Massacre in New Zealand to our Prayers for Peace is Israel and Gaza at the start of this terrible war in October 2023.

The urgency of this moment outweighs all other considerations. Our world must find the willpower and the way to prevent the genocide of innocent Palestinian refugees now sheltering in makeshift tent cities crammed into cemeteries around Rafa.

These people are hanging onto life by a thread, threatened by the actions of an army sent in to destroy Hamas and rescue hostages. Yet, Israeli bombardments are now the single greatest threat to Israeli hostages, while causing the deaths of thousands of innocent Palestinians and creating conditions for generations of hate and suffering.

A friend said to me yesterday:

“What are we doing? We are turning a Mother’s Love into Hate!”

We call upon all Peoples, all Countries, all Governments to swiftly demand a ceasefire and find a way to provide hope for Life itself for the many displaced innocent human beings now in the firing line of Israeli bombs and artillery fire amidst madness.

Our first actions must be to end hostilities and to facilitate the free entry of humanitarian and medical aid, food and water supplies.

On behalf of our Executive Committee of Religions for Peace Australia,

Yours sincerely,
Philippa Rowland
Ms. Philippa Rowland,
Religions for Peace Australia

Religions for Peace Australia https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/ is the only multifaith network in Australia that has branches/affiliates or links in all Australian States and Territories with Canberra Interfaith Forum being one of our affiliates. Religions for Peace RfP Australia strongly supported the Voice to Parliament as part of its mission is to work for the appropriate recognition of the spiritualities of Australia’s First Peoples and all indigenous peoples across the world. RfP Australia has other websites devoted to Multifaith Education, Multifaith Chaplaincy and Interfaith Prayers


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