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Archbishops Welby and Nicholls express ‘deep concern’ about Jerusalem tax

In a letter from the head of both the Protestant church and the Catholic Church in England, Archbishop Justin Welby and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, have called a tax on church property in Jerusalem discriminatory.

Writing to the Israeli ambassador in the UK, Mark Regev, they expressed their concern that a new tax was too harsh on Christian institutions and could damage future relations in Israel.

They say the rules “threaten to cause serious damage to the Christian presence in Jerusalem, to Christian families, and to the Christian institutions, including hospitals and schools, which serve many of the poorest people, regardless of their background.”

The church leaders say Jerusalem authorities should respect the ‘status quo’ of buildings in Jerusalem, saying: “These violations of historic agreements risk undermining prospects for peaceful coexistence between communities, at a time of already heightened tensions.”

 The tax plans have been suspended after the Holy Sepulchre was closed for three days in protest. 

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