192. Jerusalem  is important to Christians too

Hyman Adelman (Oct. 22) [191] sadly misses the point of Mr. Credi's letter [190] affirming the  meaning of Jerusalem to Christians. No one would deny the great significance of the Holy City to people of the Jewish faith. But two other great monotheistic religions also have an historic attachment to Jersalem as well.

A number of important Israeli academics wrote in 1994: "At least in three respects Jerusalem differs from most other places: the City is holy to the adherents of three religions, it is the subject of conflicting national claims by two peoples, and its population is heterogeneous to a considerable degree."

All too often in the discussion of Jerusalem the media leave Christians totally out of the equation (as Mr. Adelman tends to do).  Yet Pope John Paul II has clearly described the significance of Jerusalem to Christians around the world as well as the resident Christian population of the Holy City: "because there the words of Christ so often resounded, there the great events of the Redemption were accomplished: the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. In the City of Jerusalem the first Christian community sprang up and remained throughout the centuries a continual ecclesial presence despite difficulties."

This is why the Vatican believes Jerusalem should be protected by "a special internationally-guaranteed statute." and that every exclusive claim -- be it religious or political -- is contrary to very nature of the Holy City. Jerusalem should belong to no one exclusively and its unique status should be internationally guaranteed.

Richard Cross, Tarrytown

Ruth Lapidoth-Moshe Hirsh, The Jerusalem Question and its Resolutions: selected documents, Dordecht-Boston, London 1994.
Apostolic Letter "Redemptionis Anno" of 20 April 1984