Two largest churches in Britain look to block relocation of embassy to Jerusalem

The Church of England and the British Catholic Church both push back against possible relocation of UK embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 

By World Israel News Staff

The two largest religious movements in the United Kingdom have both come out against the possible relocation of Britain’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, urging Prime Minister Liz Truss not to carry out the move.

Truss, who replaced Boris Johnson as premier on September 6th, has teased a possible embassy relocation since taking office.

At a recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Truss mentioned that the UK is weighing moving its embassy – which is currently located in Tel Aviv – to Jerusalem.

Other high-ranking UK government officials expressed their approval of the potential embassy move.

Health Minister Robert Jenrick said he was “delighted” by Truss’ proposal that the embassy be relocated to Israel’s capital city.

“We have a site in Jerusalem there waiting to go,” he was quoted by JC as saying.

“It is time we took responsibility and built that Embassy and recognized that the true capital of the State of Israel is obviously Jerusalem.”

But on Thursday, Archbishop of Westminster Cardent Vincent Nichols, representing the Catholic Church of the United Kingdom, publicly urged Truss not to move the British embassy, warning it would hurt Britain’s international reputation and harm the prospects of “lasting peace”.

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After penning a letter to Prime Minister Truss, Nichols tweeted his response to the possible embassy move.

“Such a relocation of the UK Embassy would be seriously damaging to any possibility of lasting peace in the region and to the international reputation of the United Kingdom.”

“Pope Francis and the leaders of churches in the Holy Land have long called for the international Status Quo on Jerusalem to be upheld, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. The city must be shared as a common patrimony, never becoming an exclusive monopoly of any party.”

“I can see no valid reason why a move needs now to be considered. I ask the Prime Minister earnestly to reconsider the intention she has expressed and to focus all efforts on seeking a two-state solution, in which Jerusalem would have a guaranteed special status.”

On Friday, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Church of England, told The Jewish News in a statement that he is “concerned” about plans to relocate the embassy.

“The Archbishop is concerned about the potential impact of moving the British Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before a negotiated settlement between Palestinians and Israelis has been reached.”

“He is in touch with Christian leaders in the Holy Land and continues to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

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The Church of England is Britain’s largest religious movement, representing roughly half of the country’s 67 million people.

The British Catholic Church is the second largest denomination, representing close to one tenth of Britain’s population.