The Revd Nadim Nassar was invited to provide a Christian perspective at Jerusalem: History, Theology and International Law, a conference that took place on Saturday 10th February at the Islamic Centre of England in London. The aim of the conference was to discuss the importance of Jerusalem for the 3 Abrahamic faiths and the world, review the history of this city and provide an understanding of any relevant international laws.
Fellow speakers included Sheikh Mohammed Ali Shomali (Director of the Islamic Centre of England), HE Manuel Hassassian (Palestinian Ambassador to the UK), Syed Ali Raza Rizvi (President, Majlis Ulama Shia Europe), Dr Ghada Karmi (a Palestinian author and academic), Dr Nehad Khanfar (Lecturer in International Law), and Dr Jon Hoover (Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Nottingham).
The Revd Nadim Nassar said that "Jerusalem is important for all of us as believers". He then talked about the significance of the city from a Christian theological perspective, saying it was a shame that the Conference did not have a Jewish speaker to talk about the theological importance of Jerusalem from a Judaic point of view.
Nadim talked about Jesus' relationship with Jerusalem, how he entered the city on a donkey because he came as a saviour, not as a worldly king, and that his kingdom is not from this world. "When the Lord chose to become ‘one of us’, He chose Jerusalem as His city. Therefore, Jerusalem is the capital city of spirituality."
Nadim stressed that in order to understand Jerusalem it is crucial to understand three cultures. "So many in the West do not appreciate that Christianity began from the Middle East and there are native Christians all over the region." Secondly, he said, we should understand the cultural diversity in the city over the last 50 years. Thirdly and lastly, we should understand the culture of God and His decision to choose Jerusalem as His city.