The patriarchs and heads of the main churches in Jerusalem on Wednesday delivered a last-minute plea to US President Donald Trump, urging him not to change US policy toward Jerusalem for fear this could cause “irreparable harm.”
“We have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem,” a letter from them Wednesday said.
Trump was giving a speech later Wednesday in which he is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move has sparked widespread outrage in the Arab and Muslim world, fears of violence and pleas from world leaders to hold back.
“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.
“We ask from you, Mr President, to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all.”
The letter goes on, “Our solemn advice and plea is for the US to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm.”
The letter is signed by the heads of the Greek, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian and Coptic Orthodox patriarchates, the Latin church, the Franciscan Order, the Greek-Melkite-Catholic patriarchate, the Maronites, the Episcopal Church, the Armenian and Syrian Catholic churches and the Evangelical Lutherans.