Palestinian Christians

Palestinian Christians

Christian Hospice Evangelizing Israel
     

Palestinian ChristiansPalestinian Christians

"Palestinian Christians" is an oxymoron to most Westerners, for whom "Palestinian" is more often synonymous with "Muslim" or "terrorist."

Just as American Christians are Christians who happen to be American, Palestinian Christians are Christians who are Palestinian.

Persecuted by both the Jews and the Muslims, Palestinian Christians have been emigrating. From 1948 to 2000, the percentage of Christians among the Palestinians in Israel, West Bank and Gaza dropped from 15% to 2%. It is even lower today, and of Palestinian Christians who still remain, over half are Orthodox, most of the rest are Roman Catholic, and only a tiny minority are Bible-based.

One of the pleasant surprises of my trip was discovering Bible-based Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem. But they shared that they feel persecuted not only by the Muslims and the Jews but also by American Christians, whom they say turn a blind eye to them and the persecution they face, but love the Jews. They lamented that of the over half-million American Christians who visit Jerusalem every year, hardly anyone reaches out to them.

Despite their poverty, the Palestinian Christians I met said that what they want more than financial support is prayer and fellowship in Christ. They are so few and dwindling in number and would be so encouraged if some of their brothers and sisters from America would take the time to just come and pray with them during their visits to Jerusalem.

US government aid to Israel annually exceeds $3 billion, yet Israel continues to block US Christian missionary and aid organizations from the West Bank and Gaza. Why? It is because American Christians continue to tolerate Israel's oppression of the Palestinians, but that could change if significant numbers of Palestinians were to be evangelized and become their brothers and sister in Christ.

It should be noted that while the Bible tells us to support God's chosen nation of Israel, Jews who deny the deity of Jesus do not share our faith and therefore are not our brothers and sisters in Christ. Palestinian "Christians" are and deserve our help ahead of the Jews:

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10)

Palestine Bible Society and Bethlehem Bible College are two of the groups run by Bible-based Palestinian Christians who need our prayers and support, for their sake, as well as ours:

"All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ "Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:32-46)

"Issa," founded painted on an East Jerusalem alley, is "Jesus" in Arabic.

Travel Tip
"Jerusalem" in Hebrew is, "Yerushalaim," which means, "to see peace," and in Arabic is, "Al Quds," which means, "the holy."

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