Vice President Mike Pence is planning a trip to the Old City of Jerusalem later this month, and the official custodian of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is refusing to meet him, reports Red State.
In an official statement from the Holy Sepulcher:
“I absolutely refuse to officially welcome the American Vice President Mr. Mike Pence at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and I will not be physically in church during his visit,” Adeeb Joudeh, who is responsible for the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, wrote in a letter on Wednesday, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News. “This is an expression of my condemnation of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Officials from the church commented on the custodian’s letter as well saying, “We didn’t receive any formal or informal request and if there is a request, there is a status quo procedure to respect involving the three communities. Anyway it is not up to one of the key keepers to decide anything about this kind of issue,” a church official said, according to The Times of Israel.
A senior church official told the publication that no visit had been planned.
The criticism about this visit doesn’t even stop with Jerusalem but also the leader of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church also had something to say about it.
The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church said last week he will not meet with Pence, saying Trump’s decision came “at an unsuitable time and without consideration for the feelings of millions of people,” reports the Red State.
A lot of Christians these days seem to be confused about how Jerusalem is and always will be the eternal capital of Israel. Red State points to the only text that you need to turn to prove this point, the Bible.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in the Christian Quarter of the city and is believed to be the site where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
After Trump’s proclamation about Jerusalem, there has been widespread unrest in the Middle East and from other Arab countries about the call. Protestors and anti-Christian advocates will take out their anger on them and their churches.