The Holy Land is the birthplace of Christianity. Areej Masoud with Bethlehem Bible College says Christians once made up around 30% of the population in Palestine. Now, according to the Joshua Project, Palestinian Christians are less than 1.2% of the population in the West Bank and Gaza.
“This is where Christianity started and because of the many different religions and faith that have started here in this land, that’s why you call it the Holy Land. But then I’m worried that this is where people would start coming to visit empty churches”. Masoud says. Many Palestinian Christians are concerned they have been forgotten and possibly abandoned by the international community. Masoud says while Palestinian Christians are not persecuted, they do face pressures and instability because of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
“It affects us and affects our future generations,” Masoud says.
If we truly believe that we are one body of Christ, then we need to ask ourselves if we are suffering with our Palestinian family as 1 Corinthians 12:26 suggests.
“There’s a lot of Biblical interpretations that are supporting the occupation and are dehumanizing people. When people, regardless of faith backgrounds, are dehumanized, it is our concern because we are created in God’s image. It is our concern as Palestinian Christians because we do have responsibilities to defend our Bible and to defend God’s Words and explain the true…love of God,” Masoud explains. “When we don’t do this, we contribute to actually deform the Bible and deform such holiness like the words of good news into such ideologies and agendas.”
Start listening to Palestinian Christians like Masoud. Listen to their stories, and then share them and echo their struggles in your circles.
They ask people to pray for them for hope, but also for strength for where they are at now. Put your prayers into action and also visit them.
Martin Luther King said, ‘There comes a time when silence is betrayal.’ It is a powerful quote describing what they feel. They ask people to speak and not to be silent. Source: MNN