World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC Central Committee / Geneva, 1980 / Statement on Jerusalem

Statement on Jerusalem

On the basis of previous WCC statements the Central Committee opposes the Israeli unilateral action of annexing East Jerusalem and uniting the city as its "eternal capital" under its exclusive sovereignty.

31 August 1980

Geneva, Switzerland, August 1980

1. On the basis of previous WCC statements the Central Committee opposes the Israeli unilateral action of annexing East Jerusalem and uniting the city as its "eternal capital" under its exclusive sovereignty.

2. This decision is contrary to all pertinent UN resolutions. It most dangerously undermines all efforts towards the just solution of the Middle East problem and thus jeopardizes regional and world peace.

3. The Central Committee reiterates the statement on Jerusalem issued by the WCC Assembly in Nairobi, 1975, which stressed that the tendency to minimize Jerusalem's importance for any of the three monotheistic religions should be avoided. The destiny of Jerusalem should be viewed in terms of people including Christians as well as Jews and Muslims and not only in terms of shrines. Therefore, just as the future status of Jerusalem has been considered part of the destiny of the Jewish people, so it cannot be considered in isolation from the destiny of the Palestinian people, and should thus be determined within the general context of the settlement of the Middle East conflict in its totality.

4. The Central Committee calls the member churches to exert through their respective governments all pressure on Israel to withhold all action on Jerusalem, the future of which should be included in the agenda of official negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinian people on self-determination and on the solution of the Middle East conflict.

5. Recognizing that Jerusalem is a focus of the deepest religious inspiration and attachment for all Christians in the world, the Central Committee urges the WCC to undertake an active role in expressing the concerted Christian voice and to aid the churches in fully assuming their role as partners in deciding the future character of Jerusalem.

6. The Central Committee also urges the General Secretary to explore, in consultation with its member churches in the area and the Vatican, possibilities of trying to find the best solution to the problem of Jerusalem through all appropriate and effective means and ways such as convening jointly or separately international consultations or any other approaches or actions on Jerusalem. The General Secretary should also explore possibilities of consultations with the Muslim and Jewish communities concerned with the future character of Jerusalem in order to seek ways to consolidate justice and human co-existence in the City of Peace.