The leaders of the largest churches in the UK have opposed moving the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But their views are not representative of our organisations and members, both churches and individuals. We believe that unchanging biblical promises are the only realistic pathway to political peace. Specifically, both the Old and New Testament, including Jesus Himself (Matt 23:37-39; Luke 21:24), promise the return of the Jewish people home to Jerusalem - the essential meaning of "Zionism".
The recent statements by senior church leaders insist that an embassy move, recognising Jerusalem as the Jewish capital, would undermine peace between Israel and the Palestinians to be achieved through negotiations. However, this ignores the religious heart of the conflict over the Old City and Temple Mount, something over which UN resolutions are powerless and even counter-productive regarding freedom of worship. On the other hand, the move of the American embassy demonstrated how it can actually lead to more secure peace in the region.
We "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6), noting that this psalm itself emphasises the city's central importance for Jewish worship and government. Only when its holy King returns to it will He make it the centre of peace for the world. In the meantime, we must seek provisional peace and fairness for both sides, so it is manifestly unfair for the British embassy for Israel to remain in Tel Aviv when the Palestinian consulate is not in Ramallah but in East Jerusalem. If moving our embassy will strengthen British relations with the Jewish nation, a key ally and our spiritual older brother, then as Christians we see this as a valid reason. We will keep praying until God makes Jerusalem "the joy of the whole earth" (Psalm 48:2; Isaiah 62:7). Download our full article on this subject here