AdventWord: Peace

December 24, 2018
Advent Reflections

The Episcopal Church works to support peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and reconciliation in our churches, communities, nations, and around the world. We partner with provinces and churches of the Anglican Communion to end violence, create space for healing, and create lasting peace. The Office of Government Relations supports these efforts, urging the U.S. government to promote human rights and to end conflict. We work with Congress and the U.S. State Department to share the stories and perspectives of our brothers and sisters in Christ, amplifying the voices of those who are peacemakers. In Latin America and in the Caribbean region, the Church has advocated for the U.S. government to lift sanctions against Cuba and end the embargo [i]. We have called upon governments and the private sector to continue to provide financial support to Honduras[ii], and we work closely with advocacy groups to ensure Haiti is on the path of sustainable development.[iii].

In Asia and the Pacific, our policies include supporting the reunification of the Korean peninsula and the expansion of humanitarian aid for impoverished Koreans[iv], promoting human rights, supporting land reform in the Philippines[v], and advocating for dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama to address the status of Tibet[vi]. We urge governments around the world to respect religious freedom, including in Pakistan, and ask the U.S. to work combat corruption domestically and around the world.

In Africa, we have partnered with groups throughout the Episcopal Church, as well as advocates and supporters from around the world, to urge the international community to push for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in South Sudan.[vii], including recognizing the humanitarian and displacement crisis the conflict has caused. We have urged the international community to insist on an end to the political violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe[viii]. We have supported Anglican Communion partners in the Great Lakes region, asking Congress to urge governments in the region to push for representative and transparent governments.

Our work in the Middle East involves advocating for a just and sustainable peace in the Holy Land. We also urge Congress to end the humanitarian and refugee crises in Syria and Yemen[ix], Additionally, for over thirty years we have supported and worked for a two-state solution in which a secure and universally recognized state of Israel lives alongside a secure, viable, and universally recognized Palestinian state and have called upon the US government to pursue a fair and balanced approach in support of this goal[x].

[i] Cuban Embargo/Relations: GC 2018 (A209), 2015 (B002), 2012 (A020), 2009 (A034), 2000 (C045), 1991 (D021)
[ii] Support for Honduras: GC 2009 (B031)
[iii] Peace in Haiti: GC 2009 (A036); EXC (6/2005)
[iv] Reunification of Koreas/Aid for Korea: GC 2012 (A014)
[v] Human Rights in the Philippines: GC 1994 (A097)
[vi] On Tibet: GC 1997 (C001)
[vii] Lasting Peace in South Sudan: GC 2018 (D024), 2015 (B018), 2012 (A019), 2009 (D007); EXC (2/2014)
[viii] Zimbabwe/Mugabe: EXC (1/2009)
[ix] Syria and Yemen: GC 2018 (B003), 2015 (D041)
[x] I-P Two-State Solution: GC 2018 (B021, D018), 2012 (B019), 1991 (A147), 1988 (D053); EXC (2/2010)