Friday, 12 September 2014

Free at Last!

The Uniting Church in Australia joyfully welcomes the safe release of the 45 Fijian peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the border of Israel and Syria.

The peacekeepers, referred to as the Golan 45, safely crossed into Israeli-held territory on Thursday, having been held captive by Islamist militants for two weeks.

The President of the Uniting Church in Australia Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney said it was a great relief for all.

“We are overjoyed that these peacekeepers are now out of harm’s way,” said Rev. Prof. Dutney.

“We give thanks to God for their delivery from this ordeal, and pray for a just and lasting peace for this troubled part of the Middle East.”

Uniting Church members in Australia are encouraged to join their brothers and sisters in the Methodist Church in Fiji in giving thanks for the release of the Golan 45 at church services this weekend.

National Director of UnitingWorld Rob Floyd said their release was a cause for celebration.

“This is a fantastic outcome. We rejoice with our partners in the Methodist Church in Fiji,” said Mr Floyd.

“The importance of our work for a peaceful world is reinforced when we face challenges like this together.”

Jone Lotu, Chair of the Uniting Church’s Fijian National Conference, has expressed his gratitude and relief.

“We rejoice that God has answered our prayers for the safe release of our peacekeepers,” said Mr Lotu.

“On behalf of the Fijian National Committee I warmly thank all those fellow Church members and others across our Christian family who have called, sent messages of support andshared their prayers with us.“