ELCJHL Statement: Opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
Jerusalem, May 14, 2018 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land stands in strong opposition to the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. This move is in violation of international law and reverses decades of foreign policy regarding Israel and Palestine. Such a unilateral decision undermines any potential for achieving just peace based on the UN Resolutions, and in fact has increased tensions and conflicts throughout the region.
Jerusalem is a very special city, holy to three religions, and therefore it should be a place of peace, justice, and reconciliation. Our church continues to pray and advocate for a peaceful and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with the International Law. We want to see two viable and sovereign independent states, living side by side with agreed upon borders, and with Jerusalem as a shared city for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. We insist that there should be freedom of access to holy sites for all.
We are deeply concerned about what the opening of the US Embassy means for the future of the this city and of the Holy Land. Nevertheless, we will continue to pray, to advocate, and to work for peace, justice, and reconciliation for all the people of Jerusalem.
We call upon our partner churches to urge their governments to respect the International Law concerning Jerusalem.
+Bishop Sani-Ibrahim Azar
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land