U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has divided the opinions of American Christian organizations, with some welcoming the move and others thinking it could spark conflict.
In a statement, the National Council of Churches that represents Protestant congregations in the U.S. said Trump had worsened the existing conflict between Israel and Palestine and that his move could result in the death of some people. The council also accused the American president of making "a mockery of the hardships" of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the region, Haaretz relayed.
The conservative right-wing Liberty Counsel, on the other hand, welcomed Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Its founder, Mat Staver, applauded the Republican president for keeping his promise.
"King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel 3,000 years ago. It has been, is, and shall remain the capital of Israel," said Staver in a statement. "It is time America recognized the obvious. I am pleased with President Trump's announcement. He is the only president who has kept his word."
There are other American Christian organizations that did not give their perspectives on Trump's Jerusalem move. The National Association of Evangelicals turned down Haaretz's request for comment, while the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did not respond to a query on the issue.
Meanwhile, some Jewish leaders in America expressed concern over the tension that Trump's decision sparked. Union for Reform Judaism president Rabbi Rick Jacobs feared that the move could affect the peace process with the Palestinians, The New York Times reported.
Americans for Peace Now president Debra DeLee accused Trump of destroying hopes for peace in the Midde East. She added that lives could also be put in danger because of the declaration.
Other religious leaders who denounced Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital include Pope Francis, Protestant leaders, Orthodox patriarchs, and Muslims all over the world. Many Jews, however, welcomed Trump's declaration as they considered Jerusalem their holiest site.