President Trump’s declaration of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparks violent protests in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. Jerusalem has been at the center of political debate for decades since both Israelis and Palestinians claim it as their capital.
According to the CNN article Protests Break Out Following Trump’s Jerusalem Decision: “Trump made the controversial announcement on Wednesday, saying that the U.S. would move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, drawing condemnation from world leaders and sending shock waves through the Muslim world.”
As Trump’s declaration relates to regional politics, there are Three Key Things to Know About Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit, according to The Washington Post:
- There is no real peace process to disrupt.
- The recognition does matter for U.S. regional strategy.
- Regional politics will determine whether the gamble succeeds.
Why does this matter to church leaders? Joshua Pease writes in The Surprising Shift in the Way Evangelical Millennials View Israel that “for evangelicals who believe the Bible teaches a literally-restored nation of Israel, the sovereignty of Israel is seen as a Biblical must; however, within many evangelical denominations, this eschatological approach has shifted from ‘must’ to a ‘maybe.’ ”
Even so, 13 Christian leaders warned Trump of the hatred, conflict, violence, suffering, and irreparable harm that a change in U.S. policy on Jerusalem would create in the area. “The letter was 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,” according to an article in The Times of Israel.