Jerusalem church leaders condemn Trump: Move is 'illegal, undermines peace, and runs contrary to Christian teachings'

Church leaders from Jerusalem have met with the King of Jordan Abdullah II and reiterated their opposition to the 'illegal' decision by Donald Trump earlier this month to recognise the Holy City as the capital of Israel.

King Abdullah – who as Jordanian head of state is considered the custodian of the Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem – convened with Christian clerics and dignitaries from Jordan and Jerusalem ahead of the Christmas celebrations.

The divided city of Jerusalem, central to any solution between Israel and the Palestinians.Reuters

During the event at the site of the baptism of Jesus on the Jordan River, the delegates from Jerusalem 'emphasised that the decision is illegal, undermines peace, and runs contrary to Christian teachings'.

They also 'condemned any attempts to Judaize Jerusalem or obliterate its Arab identity,' according to the state-run Petra news agency.

Among those attending the gathering on Sunday was the Greek Orthodox patriarch in the Holy Land, Kyrios Kyrios Theophilos III and Archbishop Apostolic Administrator of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

Members of the Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-based organization in charge of the Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem were also at the event, according to the Times of Israel.

The delegates thanked King Abdullah for a speech he gave at a gathering of Islamic state leaders last week in Istanbul on the Jerusalem question in the wake of Trump's announcement.

The baptism site, where Jerusalem church leaders gathered, recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.Reuters

King Abdullah told the gathering: 'We will continue our historical duty, which dates back to our great grandfather, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, to protect and care for holy sites in Jerusalem.'

The gathering of Christian leaders from Jerusalem at the River Jordan follows a joint letter from local church figures ahead of Trump's announcement on December 6 warning against the move. Pope Francis also spoke out on the same day about his 'deep concern' for Jerusalem ahead of Trump's controversial announcement.