After news broke President Donald Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there, evangelicals rushed to praise him.
Here’s a sampling:
Gov. Mike Huckabee, honorary national chairman of My Faith Votes:
For over two decades American presidents have talked the good talk on Israel. But when it’s come to taking action, they’ve hesitated and kicked the can down the road instead of standing with our ally and recognizing its right to call Jerusalem its capital. Today, President Donald Trump did what his predecessors didn’t have the courage to do: recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. In so doing, he set two great examples for us—how to make good on promises and how to treat your friends. There is no brighter beacon of democracy in the Middle East than Israel, and President Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as its capital reinforces—for the whole world to see—the truth that it has a right to exist. Christians in America should be proud that one of our closest allies, also the ancient homeland of our Judeo-Christian faith, exudes tolerance, steadiness and strength in a region too often marked by all the reliability of deserts full of shifting sand.
Jerusalem is and should be recognized as the capital of Israel. It is David’s capital, the site of the first and second temples, the focus of the historians’ accounts, the psalmists’ songs and the prophets’ visions. It is the place where Jesus, a Jew himself, was crucified and where he was resurrected. It is the place where he will set foot again on earth at his second coming.President Donald J. Trump has demonstrated true leadership today by recognizing Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel. President Trump is a modern-day profile in courage, accomplishing what no other president has been willing to do. It took courage for President Harry S. Truman to recognize Israel as a nation in 1948, and it took courage for President Donald J. Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel today. He is a blessing not only to our nation but to Israel as well. Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy. But most importantly, God gave Jerusalem—and the rest of the Holy Land—to the Jewish people.
Promise made. Promise kept. Once again, President Trump has shown the world what I have always known—he is a leader who is willing to do what is right however loud the voices are of the skeptics and the critics. Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends. The Jewish people have dedicated themselves to Jerusalem over millennia, taken pride in it, defended it with blood and treasure, and today we rejoice with them as our president has done the sensible thing—he has let the State of Israel choose for itself its own capital. Christians, the world over, are not surprised and we call the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem—God’s chosen city for God’s chosen people.
The historical record, empirical fact and our faith all confirm that Jerusalem is in fact the capital of the Jewish people. I therefore enthusiastically applaud President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a promise every president has made since Clinton, and which none has fulfilled until today. In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandated moving the U.S. Embassy to a unified Jerusalem. Every six months since, our political leaders have given one excuse after another for not following through on this promise. President Trump has made clear that the time for acquiescence is over. Recognizing the Jewish people’s rightful claim to their eternal capital city puts the United States firmly on the right side of history. This is not only the right thing to do, it is the altogether righteous thing to do.
The Scriptures declare that those who stand with Israel will indeed be blessed. It should therefore come as no surprise that the Christian community in America is unapologetically a true and faithful friend to the Jewish people. God’s devotion to the Jewish people is the result of an eternal promise.We applaud the U.S. administration’s leadership for finally, rightly and formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital.There will be many who oppose this decision, just as so many have opposed Israel and her people throughout the centuries. We should not be surprised by this, but rather more convinced than ever that, despite great opposition, God’s hand will forever be on the people of the promise. To this day, Israel stands as a shining light in the Middle East, a free democracy, a thriving economy and a vibrant culture undergirded by the rule of law. May she continue to be blessed and may we, the United States of America, be blessed by reaffirming that we stand firmly beside her.
On behalf of The Fellowship’s millions of evangelical Christian supporters around the world, I applaud the U.S. administration’s decision today to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It is a bold, courageous move that is long overdue, and is especially significant coming from Israel’s closest ally. Both Jews and Christians around the world have prayed for this day, which rights a historic wrong by affirming to the world that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
On behalf of thousands of evangelical Christians across Rio de Janeiro and all of Brazil, I wholeheartedly welcome the U.S. administration’s brave and farsighted recognition of Jerusalem, our holy city, as Israel’s capital.
On behalf of thousands of Christians across Seoul and all of South Korea, I commend the U.S. administration’s long-overdue recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This is an historic moment for Christians and Jews around the world.
President Trump’s support of Israel is encouraging. It marks the beginning of a new season in U.S. Middle-East Policy. The previous administration allowed persecution, terrorism and stereotyping of the Israeli people. As someone who has been to Israel several times, I have seen the complement of this nation to democracy. As an African-American, I have also seen the fairness and civil freedoms afforded every resident: black, white, Palestinian or Jewish. I celebrate President Trump’s historic decision.
For millennia, the Jewish people were deprived of their homeland, persecuted and rejected wherever they went. Even their return to the Promised Land has been mixed with sorrow, as they’ve had to wait on the world to once again recognize what’s rightfully theirs: Jerusalem.I’m thoroughly pleased President Trump has taken this action when it comes to our ally Israel. By recognizing that Jerusalem is Israel’s unquestionable capital and promising the subsequent move of the U.S. embassy, President Trump has incurred blessing on America, for Scripture says God blesses those who bless Israel. As the psalmist once said, let us then ‘Pray for peace for Jerusalem: may those who love you be at peace!’
Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church
President Trump’s announcement—that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s rightful capital and that our embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—is the best news to come out of the Middle East in decades. As a Christian, I’m grateful America is playing a decisive role in the story of God’s chosen people, and I’m very glad President Trump is displaying the courage to fulfill a promise to support Israel and its biblical role among the nations.
Jerusalem is the nerve center of the world geographically. Jerusalem is the salvation center of the world spiritually. Jerusalem is the glory center of the world ultimately. Jerusalem is the city of the past, the present and the future. This city was the capital of Israel under King David. David’s son Solomon built the first temple, and the shekinah glory came. Jesus taught, was crucified and was resurrected there. When the Jews formed a nation on May 14, 1948, it was a modern-day miracle. And—to Christians—it was a day of fulfilled prophecy. Never has a nation been able to maintain its national identity after being scattered for hundreds of years—until Israel! God even uses Jerusalem as a picture of what we will see in heaven in the ‘New Jerusalem. We are commanded in Scripture to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” God says of the Jewish people, and in effect, the nation Israel, “He who touches you touches the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8). That’s why we stand with the Jewish people and the nation Israel. We bless them and thank God for them. Jerusalem is their eternal capital. All of these are reasons why I am grateful for the U.S. administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
President Trump is on a record promise-keeping-roll. His support for Israel, undergirded by our “prayers for the peace of Jerusalem” are encouraging evidence that God is blessing us.
Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church”
It is quite possible that President Donald Trump’s statement on Israel today is the single most important announcement regarding Israel by a U.S. president since President Harry Truman recognized Israel as a state 70 years ago on May 14, 1948.
Today is a major milestone in America’s historic relationship with Israel. Under the bold and courageous leadership of President, Trump America is finally putting American interests and the interests of our key allies first. America’s foreign policy, as it pertains to Israel, is coming into alignment with biblical truth—Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state.
Rev. Jentezen Franklin, senior Pastor, Free Chapel
It is with great enthusiasm that I wholeheartedly support and endorse President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While it has been the practice of some international institutions to insist on international determination over this topic, we believe it is Israel’s right to decide the location of her capital as was spiritually declared by King David and then legally documented in 1950 when the Israeli Knesset passed the Jerusalem law and declared Jerusalem to be the eternal, undivided capital of the state of Israel. Declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital would not itself mark a change in American law. In 1995, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed a statute declaring, “Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the state of Israel.”
Naming the city of Jerusalem the capital of Israel is not just a political right of Israel, it is also of great theological importance to Christians worldwide, and certainly to the churches I pastor.
Christianity began in Jerusalem, which served as the context for Jesus’ life and earthly ministry. Jerusalem is the city where Jesus was crucified on a cross, was laid in a tomb and where He rose from the grave and showed Himself to many others over a forty-day period. It is the city where many believe Abraham brought Isaac up Mount Moriah and passed God’s test of faith and the city where King Solomon built the magnificent Temple, declaring it a house of prayer for all nations. It is also the city Isaiah envisioned as the world’s center where the nations would beat their swords into plowshares and learn war no more. It is the city where Jesus wept.
The significance of Jerusalem to Christians, however, cannot be separated from the significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. Their history is our history. We are intertwined through our Old Testament Scriptures and spiritual legacy. Their biblical examples are our biblical examples, and we share this heritage in Jerusalem as our spiritual capital while Israel also legally proclaims it as her national capital. Their national history has become our spiritual history.
We stand with the president of the United States, the nation of Israel and her right to declare Jerusalem as the capital. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as Scripture implores us to do, and we trust her peace and prosperity, not to man-made institutions and international efforts, but to the God of all peace and to the greatest Jew who ever lived, Jesus Christ.