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Advocating Peace: A Statement on Israel-Palestine Relations

Dear Community

The ongoing conflict in the Middle-East between Israel and Palestine continues to bear heavy on my heart. Many of you have shared with me that you feel the same heaviness and grief. Personally I believe that community-based organizations cannot remain silent at a time such as this, and I feel compelled to join our voices together in a prayer for peace and reconciliation, and for the freedom of the Palestinian people.

As a Visionary Church, Sacred Waters Sanctuary deeply values humanitarianism. This means that we recognize and prioritize the well-being, dignity, and rights of all individuals, especially those who may be vulnerable, suffering, or in need. We stand for compassion, empathy, and a commitment to alleviating the suffering of others, towards individual and communal peace. 

Whilst we are committed to maintaining a non-partisan approach, and fostering a diverse and inclusive community, there are aspects of the conflict that we strongly condemn. 

Specifically, we condemn:

  • Non-peaceful approaches to resolving conflict: We strongly condemn violence, aggression, or extremist ideologies that advocate for violence or harm as a means of achieving objectives. We advocate for peaceful and diplomatic methods for conflict resolution, negotiation, and dialogue. 

  • Human rights violations: We advocate for upholding human rights and principles that prioritize the well-being, safety, and dignity of individuals, discouraging any actions that violate these rights. 

  • Oppression and apartheid: In solidarity against oppression and apartheid, where one group of people is seen as inferior to another group under policy or law, and does not have equal rights based on race, religion, gender or creed. Our organization advocates for a world free from such injustices.

We call for:

  • An immediate mutual ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli military occupation in Palestinian Territories.

  • Safe return of all hostages to their homes.

  • Palestinian liberation from Israeli oppression and apartheid.

  • World leaders to mobilize to bring diplomatic, peaceful and fair remedies to the region.

  • Global Aid for Palestinian refugees to provide food, water, medical support and shelter to those who have fled their homes in the face of war.

Change Starts Within

At this highly emotional time which stirs fear and anger within, many of us are feeling the call to do something. No matter what you might choose to do, I offer one perspective to color how you do it: “be the change you wish to see in the world”, Mahatma Gandhi. 

I share a Buddhist teaching that has shaped my own journey: Hatred does not end with more hate. Through non-hate alone does hatred end. This is an ancient truth.

If we are to create a peaceful world, we must be peaceful within ourselves. If we are to create a loving and kind world, we must be loving and kind to others, no matter what their beliefs or actions. Together, let us set a clear intention for peace, freedom, forgiveness and joy for all in our human family.

Join our Peace Circle on Monday Evening

In times of challenge, violence, or pain, it helps us to find support in our community. Sacred Waters Sanctuary is hosting a Peace Circle on MLK day, Monday January 15th from 6-9pm PST. Those attending are invited to bring a potluck dish to share.

We will connect with our community through songs and historical stories to provide a space for our community to reflect on their own experiences to create room and openness for peace.

All are welcome.

Monday 15, 6-9pm (please be safe if driving in adverse weather)

Address: Sacred Waters Sanctuary. 3704 SE 65th Ave, Portland

RSVP: 6502158965

Donate to Save the Children and provide lifesaving aid to children and communities in Palestine and around the world. 

Yours sincerely, 

Aria Naidoo

Executive Director, Sacred Waters Sanctuary

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (may all beings everywhere be happy and free)

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