ELCA Churchwide Assembly passes Assembly actions related to Israel and Palestine


ELCA assembly overwhelming passes strong statement supporting multiple actions for their church constituency.

By Peace Not Walls | Evangelical Lutheran Church in America |  Aug 7, 2019

The Assembly Action … urges the ELCA to advocate to ‘ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds not support military detention, interrogation, abuse or ill-treatment of Palestinian children’.

On August 6, 2019, at the ELCA’s 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, the assembly approved by 96% (YES-829; NO-33) four Assembly Actions related to Israel and Palestine (the memorials were presented en bloc with other memorials). The Assembly Actions deal with the human rights social investment screen, the detention of Palestinian children by Israel, funding for Augusta Victoria Hospital, and continuing to listen to various perspectives on the conflict. The Assembly Actions include urgent requests for advocacy related to the Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital and the military detention of Palestinian children by Israel. The Peace Not Walls team will continue to provide resources for education and advocacy related to both.

The Assembly Action titled “Category B1: Just Peace” “commend[s] and encourage[s] Portico Benefit Services to continue its implementation of the human rights social criteria investment screen as it relates to investments in Israel and Palestine.” This relates to the Churchwide Assembly Action in 2016 which directed “the ELCA’s Corporate Social Responsibility review team to develop a human rights social criteria investment screen based on the social teachings of this church and, in the case of Israel and Palestine, specifically based on the concerns raised in the ELCA Middle East Strategy; …” [CA16.06.31].

The Assembly Action acknowledges the Human Rights social message that was adopted in November 2017 and the ELCA Human Rights screen that was approved by the Portico Benefit Services’ board of trustees in August 2018. The screen states, “The ELCA recommends not investing in corporations benefiting from the most egregious denial of the rights of humans as political and civic beings to have equal access and participation in legal and political decisions affecting them.” Implementation of the screen for Social Purpose investment portfolios began in April 2019.

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