Tags: Donald Trump | Israel | Religion | Trump Administration | palestinians | christians | west bank

Middle East Christians Angered by Trump's Jerusalem Action

Image: Middle East Christians Angered by Trump's Jerusalem Action
A Palestinian protester in the West Bank city of Bethlehem uses a slingshot during clashes Tuesday with Israeli troops following protests against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 14 December 2017 07:26 PM

President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there is not sitting well with an unlikely group: Christians in the Middle East.

According to The Washington Post, Christians in the Palestinian West Bank and across the Middle East are unhappy with the move and are making their voices heard by turning off Christmas tree lights in the holy site of Bethlehem and writing graffiti on public walls.

Vice President Mike Pence will visit the area next week, according to The Jerusalem Post, but he has seen his schedule shifted around as some planned meetings with Christian leaders have been canceled.

"The pope of the Egyptian Coptic Church, who leads the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East, has called off a scheduled meeting with Pence in Cairo," according to the Post. "The Chaldean Church in Iraq warned this week that the White House move on Jerusalem risks sparking regional violence and extremism and demanded that the Trump administration respect U.N. resolutions on the city."

Violence has broken out in the eight days since Trump announced his decision, and Christians in the Middle East fear the riots will continue because of it.

"This is where it all started," Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem, told the Post. "The Bible originated in Palestine, not in the Bible Belt, but people in the Bible Belt read the Bible in a way that really makes our lives difficult."

He later added, "Our mere existence as Christians here is inconvenient, as it means this conflict can't be framed as a religious war between Jews and Muslims. It's not about religion. It's a political conflict over land and resources."

Other world leaders and even Pope Francis have criticized Trump's declaration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Palestinian Christians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem are angered and protesting President Donald Trump's announcement of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
palestinians, christians, west bank, jerusalem, capital
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2017-26-14
Thursday, 14 December 2017 07:26 PM
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