Jerusalem must be shared by all, says Council of Churches

Council of Churches of Malaysia general secretary Rev Herman Shastri.

KUALA LUMPUR: The principal fellowship for Christian groups in Malaysia used the holy occasion of Christmas today to call for peace in Jerusalem and assert that the historic city be shared by both Palestinians and Israelis.

Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Rev Herman Shastri said most churches adhered to this position, which has been advocated by the United Nations.

He said Palestinians had the right to their homeland and Israelis had the right to theirs.

“As far as Jerusalem is concerned, all religions are interested in it. It should be a city of peace.

“It should be a shared capital,” he told reporters during a Christmas high tea held by the Metro Tabernacle Assemblies of God at its premises in Taman Samudera, Batu Caves, here today.

Shastri said the many political observations on the matter should not stall the peace initiative between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“Look for the path of peace within the framework of justice,” he said.

The administration of US President Donald Trump recently declared its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by announcing its plan to establish the US embassy there instead of in Tel Aviv.

On Dec 22, Prime Minister Najib Razak led a solidarity rally, attended by about 2,000 people, to support East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and oppose the US move, at the Putra mosque in Putrajaya.

Catholic priest from Seremban, George Harrison.

Asked if the CCM would join such a rally, Shastri said they would attend such events within their own church movements.

George Harrison, a Catholic priest from Seremban, said people had to use their wisdom to find a peaceful solution to the issue.

He said, without being partisan to any side, there was a need to work towards harmony among all quarters involved in the city. “We must find peace and work towards harmony, looking at both sides, for the good of the church and good of humanity,” he said.