Irish faith leaders sign joint declaration calling for peace in the Middle East

Signatories at Glencree meeting include Christian, Muslim and Jewish representatives

Leaders of the various faiths in Ireland have issued a joint plea for an end to violence in the Middle East.

At a meeting this week in the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in Co Wicklow, 17 representatives of the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) in Ireland signed a Joint Declaration for Peace and Respect for the Dignity of Human Life in the Middle East and presented it to the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem Suheil Dawani.

The Anglican diocese of Jerusalem encompasses Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon. Archbishop Dawani was on a visit to the Church of Ireland dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

In their joint declaration, the faith leaders said they shared grief and pain at the death and suffering currently taking place in the Middle East and prayed for peace throughout the region.


They were among 60 people from religious, political and community backgrounds who gathered at the Glencree centre for an event titled Milestones on a Journey of Hope. It recognised the ongoing suffering in the Middle East and offered an opportunity to explore and reflect on Ireland's journey out of violence into hope of a brighter future.

The event was held to honour the visit of Archbishop Dawani.

Signatories to the declaration included: Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson; Fr Timothy Bartlett, secretary general for the World Meeting of Families 2018; Dr Susan Hood, librarian and archivist of the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin; Siraj Zaidi of the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre at Milltown, Co Dublin; Methodist minister Rev Gary Mason, founder/director of Rethinking Conflict in Belfast; and Fr Damien McNeice, master of ceremonies for Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

Also included were: Sheikh Umar Al-Qadri , imam at the Al-Mustafa Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin; Rev Dr William Olhausen, theological adviser to Archbishop Jackson; Rev Bill Mullally, president of the Methodist Church in Ireland; Rabbi Zalman Lent, communal rabbi for the Irish Jewish community; and Methodist Rev John Parkin of the ecumenical accompaniment programme in Palestine and Israel.

Other signatories included were: Dr Ali Al-Saleh, imam at the Milltown mosque; Dr Paul Manook, chairman of the Armenian Church in Ireland parish council; Rev Ken Rue, chairman of the Church of Ireland diocesan council for mission; former Church of Ireland primate Archbishop Alan Harper; Canon Desmond Sinnamon, founder member of Three Faiths Forum; and Msgr Dermot Lane of the Mater Dei Institute and parish priest at Balally, Co Dublin.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times