In a letter sent to President Joe Biden on July 8th, World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Ioan Sauca appealed for Biden’s attention to the plight of churches and Christians of the Holy Land.
Biden is scheduled to visit the occupied Palestinian territories (West Bank), Israel, and Saudi Arabia on 13-16 July.
“Your visit take place in a time of ongoing and escalating dispossession and displacement of Palestinian families and communities from their homes in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank, and of expanding settlements and settlement enclaves that threaten the multi-religious and multicultural identity of Jerusalem and undermine any remaining prospect of a viable two-state solution to secure peace with justice for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” Sauca wrote.
“In addition to the expropriation of properties, recent years have seen a marked rise in discrimination, abuse, vandalism, arson and hate crimes against Christians, clergy and churches.” He added.
Sauca urged Biden to listen and respond to the voices of the churches of the Holy Land.
“The rich religious and social diversity, the historic status quo and heritage of the Holy City of Jerusalem are in imminent danger,” said Sauca. “I appeal to you and to all people of good will who recognize Jerusalem as sacred to three religions and a city of two peoples, to speak and act to secure this vision and this hope, against those who seek to displace, exclude and marginalize others.”
Sauca asked Biden to help end the displacement and marginalization, and to restore hope in a just peace in the region. “I pray that you will be inspired with this vision of inclusive peace as you undertake your visit, and that you will be granted wisdom and fortitude to seek this peace and to pursue it.”