Jump directly to the content

Jerusalem Christians Hope Local Treaty with Muslims Will Be Exported Throughout Middle East

Bishop says 'local' diplomacy to avoid sectarian divides marks turning point.

Christians, Muslims, and civil authorities in one area of Jerusalem have signed a local treaty of friendship that, if successful and replicated, could ease religious tensions in the Holy City and other Middle East communities.

AsiaNews reports that "leaders were pushed to seek such an agreement after sectarian clashes broke out in recent months, in the wake of the establishment of a Christian subdivision in a Muslim area in East Jerusalem." The signatories of the treaty, "whose clauses range from mutual respect to conciliation in disputes over land and the construction of new housing," represent 63 Christian families from the Bethpage subdivision as well as Muslim leaders from the neighborhood.

William Shomali, auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem, told AsiaNews that the treaty may be local, but "marks a turning point in relations between Christians and Muslims . . . and can be exported not only to other areas of the Holy Land, but throughout the Middle East."

This treaty is just the latest peace effort between Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land, where attacks on Christian buildings–known as "price-tag attacks"–have become more common.

Meanwhile, churches have been creating affordable housing to help Christians remain in the Middle East.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Related Topics:Israel
Posted:April 26, 2013 at 11:50AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Presbyterian Church in America Apologizes for Old and New Racism
The denomination took a year to get its apology just right.
Across 198 Nations, Christians Face More Terrorism But Less Government Hostility
Pew finds that terrorism threatens to surpass the traditional persecutors of the global church.
Orthodox Will Hold Humbled Yet Historic Council in Crete
Patriarchs disagree over how many disputes—out of centuries' worth—to tackle in 10 days.
As SBC Backs Refugee Resettlement, World Relief Leader Resigns
Southern Baptists vote to encourage compassion, while Stephan Bauman reveals next move.
Christianity Today
Jerusalem Christians Hope Local Treaty with Muslims Will Be Exported ...