Canadian Church leaders gather in Ottawa to discuss new developments in Israel/Palestine and the role of the churches

Ongoing and intensifying repression of Palestinians in the West Bank is pushing Canadian churches to reconsider their attitude toward the Israel/Palestine conflict. A major conference will be held at St. Paul University in Ottawa on April 27th. Read more. (Photo: Catholic register).

What is the role of Canadian churches in advocacy regarding Palestine?

Canadian churches have tended to be careful when it comes to the Israel/Palestine issue. They have been strong supporters of humanitarian aid for Palestinians, while avoiding strong criticism of Israel itself. One reason is certainly the concern about the fact that anyone who dares criticize Israel runs the risk of being unfairly labelled as “anti-semitic”.

But recent developments in Israel/Palestine, including several reports from human rights organizations like Amnesty International alleging Israeli “apartheid”, massive demonstrations inside Israel questioning its democracy, the election of a new government which even some Israelis are calling “fascist”, along with extremely aggressive behaviour of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank, are pushing the churches to re-evaluate their positions.

Anglican, Lutheran, United, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic leaders will meet in Ottawa on April 27th for a conversation about how churches in Canada are involved in advocating for and with partners in Palestine, and what next steps may be needed in a context of new developments in a deteriorating situation. They will spend the day meeting Parliamentarians on the Hill, and get together in the evening to share thoughts.

New Developments in Israel-Palestine and the Role of the Churches

The evening meeting is open to the public and will be moderated by Michel Andraos Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University

The impressive list of speakers includes a combination of church leaders and thinkers.

  • Linda Nicholls 
    Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
  • Susan Johnson
    National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • Carmen Lansdowne
    Moderator of the United Church of Canada
  • Dorcas Gordon
    Principal Emerita of Knox College, Presbyterian Church in Canada
  • Carl Hétu
    Executive Director of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada
  • Jonathan Kuttab
    Executive Director of Friends of Sabeel North America
  • Michaël Séguin
    Assistant Professor at the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Saint Paul University
  • Jane Thirikwa
  • Global Partnerships Coordinator for KAIROS Canada

More information and a link to register can be found by clicking HERE. (This is an in-person event at the University, but the same link will also allow attendance remotely.)

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Want to learn more about us? Go to Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine


  1. From past experience, I don’t hold my breath for some concrete outcome. Perhaps it will be some Waterdown declaration, in order not “delineate the Jewish friends”, which they are not and due to Holocaust etc.

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