CMEP Welcomes Bipartisan Congressional Letter Supporting the Jerusalem Christian Community
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes a bipartisan Congressional letter urging the protection of religious freedom in Jerusalem, organized by Reps. Castro (D-TX) and Bilirakis (R-FL) and signed by Reps. McGovern (D-MA), Andy Harris (R-MD), French Hill (R-AR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY). The letter, sent to Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Rashad Hussain, notes the troubling rise in attacks against the Christian community in Jerusalem and calls on the U.S. government to “work with the Israeli government to uphold its stated commitment to the freedom of religion and worship for all religions and to hold accountable the radical groups who are engaging in sustained attacks against Christian clergy and destruction of church properties.” CMEP is deeply concerned by the increasing restrictions and attacks against Christian clergy and properties and the threats they pose to the sustainability of the Christian community in the Holy Land.
In response to the letter, CMEP’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Kyle Cristofalo, said: “We are grateful to Reps. Castro and Bilirakis for leading this critical letter and for all the members who joined. The actions of radical Jewish settler groups against Christians in Jerusalem, including the recent seizure of the Greek Orthodox-owned Little Petra Hotel, directly threaten the long-term sustainability of the Christian community in the Holy Land. Attacks in recent months against Christian clergy and Muslim worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque are in violation of the Status Quo and must cease immediately.” We join the members of Congress who signed the letter in calling the Biden Administration and Secretary Blinken to work with the Israeli government to ensure Jerusalem is a city in which Christians, Muslims, and Jews can worship freely.
Also see: CMEP Opposes Violations of Status Quo and Calls for Commitment to Religious Freedom (April 27, 2022)
Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem issue Statement on the Current Threat to the Christian Presence in the Holy Land (Dec. 14, 2021)