By Candice Hill Buchbinder, ELCA News

Addressing recent efforts in Jerusalem to confiscate church lands and tax church properties, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), along with leaders from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Armenian Church of America and The Episcopal Church, have sent a letter of support to the heads of churches at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

In addition to Eaton, the letter was signed by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, ecumenical director and legate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); and the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop and primate, The Episcopal Church.

The letter expresses “fervent solidarity with you, your churches and the entire Christian community in the Holy Land as you face repeated challenges to the Status Quo that ensures a Christian presence in this most holy of places.”

The four church leaders also sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat expressing concern about the recent proposals and tax plans.

The letter states, “If enacted, these measures would have the effect of creating a situation that jeopardizes the very survival of the Christian community in the Holy Land.”

Read the letter to the heads of churches of the Holy Sepulchre.

Read the letter to the Israeli prime minister and the Jerusalem mayor.

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