April 2002

WCC general secretary urges EU ministers to take leading role in seeking a just and sustainable peace in the Middle East (12 April 2002)

Preliminary report on WCC deputy general secretary's visit to Jerusalem (8 April 2002)

Church offers to mediate Israeli-Palestinian conflict are being ignored. WCC delegation returns from Jerusalem (5 April 2002)

Expression of worldwide ecumenical solidarity: WCC delegation to meet with patriarchs and heads of churches and Christian communities (2 April 2002)

58th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights: WCC calls for international monitors in occupied Arab territories including Palestine (March 26, 2002)

A call from the heads of churches in Jerusalem to all the people in this Holy Land, Palestinians and Israelis (March 9, 2002)

Press update: Ecumenical efforts towards peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (11 February 2002)

Press release: Ecumenical solidarity and action promised in Palestinian-Israeli conflict (11 February 2002)

Prayers and messages for peace in the Middle East; WCC provides resource pack for 2002 campaign
Resource pack (20.12.01)

WCC calls on Israel to observe its responsibilities under Fourth Geneva Convention

WCC Executive Committee resolution on ecumenical response to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (14.09.01)

International ecumenical consultation on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (6-7 August 2001)
-- Consultation report
-- Consultation on Israeli-Palestinian conflict decides on coordinated ecumenical action. (WCC press update 08.08.01)
-- What would it mean for the world if there were no Christian Palestinians left in the Holy Land? (WCC press release 06.08.01)
-- Photos from the consultation

WCC Delegation to Israel/OPT, June 2001:
-- Delegation report, 6 August 2001
-- Visit update, 10.07.01
-- Delegation press release, 25.06.01
-- Framework paper for an international ecumenical response to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

The WCC and the Question of Jerusalem

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.

The Statement 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".

Most recently, in September 2000, the WCC Executive Committee called for the parties involved to abandon narrow and exclusive claims in favour of efforts to build an open, inclusive and shared city where free access to Holy places and freedom of worship is assured for people of all faiths.

The creation of this web page is intended to highlight the WCC's continuing involvement with the question of Jerusalem, and to contribute to the ongoing debate at such a critical time in the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.