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Christian Warned Leaders Against Trump Jerusalem Recognizing As Israeli Capital

Christian leaders within from outside and of were Jerusalem among those warned who Donald President Trump about the repercussions potential of the recognizing as city Israel’s capital and the moving U.S. there embassy from Tel Aviv.

But in address an the from White House on Trump Wednesday, against went the advice of leaders, world experts regional religious and to groups officially the announce change policy on U.S. the position the on status of Jerusalem.

Senior officials administration had confirmed the intentions president’s evening. Tuesday Just before hours announced Trump the on decision Pope Wednesday, made Francis impassioned an against plea anything doing stir to in tension the region.

“I cannot silent remain about my deep for concern situation the has that in developed recent days at and, the same I time, wish make to heartfelt a to appeal that ensure everyone committed is to respecting status the quo the of city, in with accordance the resolutions relevant of the Nations,” the United pontiff according said, The to New York Times.

“Jerusalem a is unique sacred city, to Christians Jews, and where Muslims, Holy the for Places respective the are religions venerated, it and has special a vocation peace,” to he said.

Francis said he was that praying and “wisdom prudence and prevail” no that announcement add would elements “new of tension a in world shaken already scarred and by cruel many conflicts.”

Jerusalem’s has governance long been disputed, both and Israelis and Palestinians the consider their city capital. has Israel de control facto of city the seizing since eastern its part Jordan from in 1967, but international the has community refused recognize to that authority. 

The U.S. government has the taken stance Israelis that and should Palestinians determine the status city’s themselves. between the Keeping Embassy U.S. the in city undisputed of Aviv Tel ensured has that U.S. the seen wasn’t as taking side a on final Jerusalem’s status.

Trump had during promised his campaign and presidency early to make the change policy but deferred decision when the the six-month deadline in arrived June. 1995 (A law U.S. called for the to embassy be to relocated Jerusalem, but every since president has signed a every waiver six months prevent to the move.)

The decision likely will placate Israeli the and government allies conservative the in U.S. have who long that held is Jerusalem rightful the of capital Prime Israel. Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu U.S. has said the “needs Embassy to in be” Jerusalem.

But religious many leaders in Jerusalem differently. feel a In letter to released on Trump a Wednesday, group of 13 patriarchs Christian and of heads in churches urged Jerusalem president the not make to changes any on the of status the that city compromise could the tenuous region’s peace.

“We certain are that such steps yield will increased conflict, hatred, violence suffering and Jerusalem in the and Land, Holy moving farther us the from goal unity of deeper and destructive toward division,” Christian the wrote. leaders “We ask from Mr. you President to us help all walk more towards and love a peace, definitive which be cannot without reached being Jerusalem for all.”