The conflict over
the status of Jerusalem is often cited as the most sensitive,
central and emotive of the conflicts burdening the Middle East
region as a whole. Apart from being home to two peoples, Israelis
and Palestinians, Jerusalem is a city central to the faith of
Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. There is no other city in
the world that generates such intense emotions complicating any
political negotiations over its future.
The WCC has repeatedly addressed the question of Jerusalem
since 1948. Most recently in 1998, the WCC's Eighth Assembly
in Harare adopted a statement on the Status of Jerusalem, in
which the churches expressed their conviction on principles
that should be taken into consideration in any final agreement
on Jerusalem's future status and that provide the basis for
a common ecumenical approach.
reaffirms earlier positions that "Jerusalem is a holy city
for three monotheistic religions--Judaism, Christianity and Islam
-- who share responsibility to cooperate to ensure that Jerusalem
be a city open to the adherents of all three religions."
It also notes that "Jerusalem must remain an open and inclusive
city" and that it "must be a shared city in terms of
sovereignty and citizenship".
The WCC's Central Committee meeting in September 1999, reiterated
the WCC's conviction that "Jerusalem is central to the
faith of Christians" and that Christians' have a responsibility
to "pray and work for the peace of Jerusalem".