Dozens of church leaders in the United States sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing "concern" about the "Properties Bill" recently raised in the Knesset.
The draft law will allow the Israeli government to use the parcels sold by the Church to private investors and have residential buildings. It was proposed by Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria after the Greek Orthodox Church sold 124 hectares of land to anonymous investors in Jerusalem. There are about 1000 housing units on the earth.
The state will compensate any person or company who has purchased the right to land from the Church.
The churches warned that the draft law, signed by the majority of 61 MK, "would allow the state to expropriate the Church's land".
"To a large extent, the Patriarch of Jerusalem and Church leaders believe that this act is an existential threat can not be overestimated," the church's leaders wrote. "When the bill was first introduced last February (along with the proposed municipal tax on church property), church leaders protested closing the Holy Sepulcher Church in an act of historical solidarity. In response, eighteen religious leaders in the United States, representing various Christian spectra, wrote to President Trump expressing the need to protect the vulnerable Christian community in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. President-in-Office must do everything in its power to avoid a similar crisis. "
They called on Pompeo to work with the Israeli leaders to "ensure that this bill is permanently interrupted."
This letter was signed by the archbishop of the North American Antiochian Orthodox Christian
Armenian Orthodox Church
Men's Major Managers Conference
Church of the Middle East Peace
Evangelical Church of the Church, service throughout the world
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Greek Archdiocese of America
National Church Church
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Methodist Church, Church and Society General Council