The National Council of Churches USA General Secretary, the Rev Dr Bob Edgar, and the Chief Executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, James Winkler, were among those who engaged in what they described as ?constructive conversations? with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shortly after his White House Rose Garden press conference.
During the meeting, Dr Edgar described to Mr Abbas his deep sadness on seeing the wall that separates Israeli and Palestinian neighbourhoods ? and also divides Palestinians from others in their own community. ?Walls separate, bridges heal,? he declared.
Following the encounter, Dr Edgar said that he was ?excited about the opportunity to meet with President Abbas. I also look forward to the day when we will be able to meet with Prime Minister Sharon [of Israel].
?It is extremely important that we continue to work and pray for peace in the Holy Land,? continued the US ecumenical leader. In spite of the conditions we remain hopeful that peace is possible.?
Other denominations and organizations represented included the Armenian Orthodox, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Church of the Brethren, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and the development agency World Vision.
NCCUSA gathers together churches representing 50 million mainly Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox Christians across the USA. A wider network, Churches Together in the USA, is building further links with Catholics, independent evangelicals and Pentecostals.
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