Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, said on Saturday that Jerusalem must remain a spiritual center of three major religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
“We should not forget that Jerusalem is a holy city for three world’s religions: not only for Judaism but also for Christianity and Islam. Today in Jerusalem Christians, Muslims and Jews are living together in peace, each sectarian group has its own quarters, immobility and holy sites”.
“And it is very important that Jerusalem must remain as such spiritual and religious center, in which representatives of three Abrahamic, monotheistic religions could live together in peace and accord,” Hilarion said.
The cleric also criticized US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as from his point of view the step could significantly destabilize the situation.
On December 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructed the US Department of State to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv.
The decision caused criticism from many countries around the world, first of all in the Middle East, sparking mass protests in a number of countries, including in Israel itself.
Israel seized then Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1980, the Israeli parliament adopted the Jerusalem Law proclaiming the entire city Israel’s undivided capital.
The international community does not recognize the annexation and believes the status of Jerusalem should be agreed with the Palestinians, who claim its eastern part as the capital of their future state.
— ADF International (@IntlAdf) May 23, 2017