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How is the Christian Community Reacting to Trump's Decision Regarding Jerusalem?

posted on: Dec 13, 2017

Meriam Helal/Arab America Contributing Writer

The Christian community has reacted differently to Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing it as the capital of Israel. American evangelicals are in favor of this decision, while other Christians, Catholics, and especially Orthodox Christians, are extremely against it.

Pope Francis expressed his “deep concern” about the situation created by President Trump’s decision. He continued to say, “I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”

The National Council of Churches, consisting of 35 million American Protestants from 38 denominations Presbyterian to Baptist, stated that Trump  “has thrown fuel on the fires of conflict in the region. People are likely to die as a direct result of this decision.

The NCC leadership criticized Trump’s actions saying that it was a “simplistic approach to the complexities of the region that make a mockery of the hardship people there — whether Israelis or Palestinians, whether Christians or Jews or Muslims — have suffered over the years.” They continued saying, “ by unilaterally declaring the entire city to be Israel’s capital and by announcing the upcoming move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, (Trump) has severely damaged any remaining U.S. diplomatic credibility to act as a broker for a peace agreement.”

Egypt’s Coptic Church head Pope Tawadros II has denied the expectation of meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in his visit to the Middle East later this month as a response to Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Pope Tawadros II clarified that Trump  “did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people.”  “The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church declines to receive American Vice President Mike Pence,” the church said in a statement;  adding that the Coptics would pray for ‘wisdom to address all issues that impact peace for the people of the Middle East.’


Coptic Pope Tawdros II

The 13 leaders of Jerusalem’s traditional Christian communities, such as the Orthodox and Catholic communities, alert that as a result, there will be  “increased hatred, conflict, violence, and suffering in Jerusalem, and the Holy Land.”

Click a link to the actual letter here.

The heads of local churches in Jerusalem sent President Trump a letter about his recent decision regarding Jerusalem saying, “We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence, and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.” The letter was signed by 13 priests, Archbishops, and bishops.

Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar, did an interview on BBC World, stating that “I don’t believe that God ordained that the world has to be unjust to the Palestinians. We are the original Christians. We are the owners of the land.” Christians are praying to God about the unjust decision Trump has made and hope to find a peaceful solution and justice for the Palestinians.

Click here to see Ashrawi’s interview.