JERUSALEM (Christian Examiner) – In an effort to highlight the "genuine, historic connection" Jews and Christians have to Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is calling on Christians worldwide to flood the offices of the UN's science, education, and cultural organization (UNESCO) with Bibles.
The request from the pro-Israel and pro-Messianic Jewish organization based in the Israeli capital comes just after UNESCO passed a resolution last week ignoring Jewish claims to historical sites in and around Jerusalem.
The resolution references the Jewish Temple Mount solely by its Arab name. In doing so, UNESCO bypassed 4,000 years of Jewish history to placate the Palestinians.
The First Temple for Jews to worship God was built where the Dome of the Rock now sits around 960-920 B.C., about 1,600 years before Muslims conquered the Holy Land and built two mosques on the Temple Mount.
In an announcement on its website, ICEJ said it recently celebrated the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles) with its Jewish friends in Jerusalem. The Jewish festival – which commemorates the people of Israel's time of dwelling in the desert in tents after the Exodus – took place the same week UNESCO, which is supposed to preserve world heritage sites, issued its resolution.
ICEJ called the resolution "disgraceful" and said it was aimed at "erasing the Jewish and Christian bonds to the Temple Mount and other holy sites in the Land of Israel, which they referred to only by their Muslim names." The ICEJ denounced the decision.
The organization asks now that Christians the world over send Bibles to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
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It says Christians should open the Bible and highlight as many ancient references to the "Temple" and "Jerusalem" as possible.
"We are hoping to inundate UNESCO with tens of thousands of Bibles to drive home the message that Jews and Christians have a much more genuine, historic connection to Jerusalem and the Temple than Muslims. In fact, the city is never mentioned even once in the Koran, whereas Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are central to nearly every book in the Bible and to the Jewish and Christian faiths," the statement said.
In the sample letter ICEJ provides to accompany the Bible, Jerusalem's historic connection to the Jewish people is in focus. Conquered by King David and made his capital and the site of the Temple, the mountain and Jerusalem are mentioned more than 1,000 times in the Bible.
"So this omission is either a deliberate rewriting of history or a case of ignorance by those we would otherwise expect to be educated and informed," the ICEJ letter states.
Muslims call the city "Al Quds."