CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Middle East Peace Programs
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Middle East Peace Initiative began in 2003, when 123 members of the American Clergy Leadership Conference went to Israel with a desire for reconciliation, after a profound period of reflection about the painful historical relationships between Christians and Jews.
Christians had genuine and uplifting experiences at the holy sites of the Abrahamic faiths. They engaged in dialogue with Muslim clerics who respect Christians and Jews as People of the Book, rabbis seeking to transcend traditional barriers, and Arab Christians whose ancestors preserved the faith.
MEPI demonstrates that family divisions can be healed through cooperative efforts. Arm in arm, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze walk prayerfully through Jerusalem’s Old City. The marchers sing the words of peace in three languages, “Peace, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum.”
Despite ongoing concerns about safety, the marchers are permitted access to the Western Wall, the remnant of the Jews’ Holy Temple area, and Al Aqsa Plaza, the third holiest site for Muslims (after Mecca and Medina). Rabbis, ministers, and imams embrace in prayer and reconciliation at the places sacred to each faith. They show respect for each other by sitting down to eat together and exchanging symbolic gifts.
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