JERUSALEM, Israel – The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) praised the US government's decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem in time for the nation's upcoming 70th anniversary.
"We are very grateful once again that the Trump administration is continuing to carry through with its commitment to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, where it has always belonged," ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler said in a press statement on Sunday. "We join the Israeli people and government in saluting this well-timed gesture. The Christian Embassy also is hopeful other nations will quickly follow suit, and we are working to ensure that outcome through our various national branches and activists worldwide."
According to the statement, the ICEJ is actively engaging with "leaders of numerous other nations" to follow the United States' example by relocating their embassies to Jerusalem.
The campaign, which includes letters and "direct lobbying of government leaders by local Christian communities," is factoring in the way member nations voted on the UN resolution demanding that the US withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"One of the key points of this lobbying campaign is that several nations who voted for the UNGA resolution in December were instantly in violation of its terms, which explicitly called upon all nations 'to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem,'" the ICEJ stated in its press release.
Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom voted for the resolution though each one maintains a consulate in Jerusalem that serves as "its chief diplomatic mission" to the Palestinian Authority.
"The international community has always called for an even-handed approach to Jerusalem, so as not to prejudge this sensitive final-status issue," Dr. Bühler explained.
"Yet here are eight nations that have never been called out for violating this principle by placing their chief missions to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. It turns out the demand for neutrality has just been a hollow pretext for denying the Jewish people and state their rightful place in Jerusalem," he said, concluding that "…no nation can now complain when a country decides to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem."
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, founded in 1980, serves as a permanent representation of global Christian solidarity with Israel and particularly to the ancient connection to its capital. The ICEJ has branch offices in more than 90 nations and supporters in more than 170 countries worldwide.