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Holy Land: Churches issue letter on status of Jerusalem

 The heads of churches in Jerusalem have released a new letter on the status of Jerusalem that follows up on a memorandum they issued in 1994, 'The Meaning of Jerusalem for Christians' was published at the end of September, following the end of the Israeli-Hezbollah war this summer, and highlights the need for a more concerted effort to build a lasting peace in the Middle East, beginning with Jerusalem. It discusses the importance of the interreligious character of the city, affirming the uniqueness of the city for each of the three faiths. The church leaders set out requirements for a just and durable solution for Jerusalem, focusing on the need for common agreement by the two peoples and laying out different solutions, including a united city with shared sovereignty and a divided city with two distinct sovereignties. The statement also calls for an open city with a special status that corresponds to Jerusalem's "double character, holy and universal, and ordinary and local, where daily life unfolds." The church leaders appeal for cooperation with their fellow religious leaders in the Holy Land and call on political authorities to "find a solution [for Jerusalem] which corresponds to the city's sacred character." Source: Churches for Middle East Peace