WASHINGTON – An Israeli-Arab pastor with strong ties to the Palestinian territories believes that for Christians to be involved in the Middle East peace process they "need to learn the Bible" and what it says about Jesus' ministry.
Steven Khoury, a Jerusalem-born pastor who is vice president of Holy Land Missions and author of the book Diplomatic Christianity, spoke at a Family Research Council-hosted event that focused on the plight of Palestinian Christians.
"They need to learn the Bible. Go back to study the roots of our faith, which is learning the Bible," said Khoury to The Christian Post. more >>
A new report on the state of Christians living in the Holy Land aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" last weekend has stirred controversy among some Christian and Jewish groups that have blasted the report as unfairly portraying Israel as an oppressor of Middle East Christians.
CBS' Bob Simon conducted the new report seeking to refute that Muslim discrimination is driving force for the mass exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land. He argued that it has been Israeli settlements and the policies of Israel that have forced Christians out of the Holy Land.
Today Christians make up 1.5 percent of the population of Jerusalem but just in 1967 had constituted five percent of those living in the holy city, according to the report. more >>
A massive march to the city of Jerusalem is planned for this Friday with communities from around the world calling for "freedom for Palestine and its capital Jerusalem" in an event that has attracted the support of Desmond Tutu, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as well as the nation of Iran.
The event, called "Global March to Jerusalem," is being orchestrated by the International Central Committee, a group comprised of 42 delegates representing five continents.
The delegates seek to have one million people march in solidarity along the borders of Israel in surrounding Middle Eastern countries in an attempt to come "to the nearest point possible" to the ancient and historically significant city. more >>
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians can practice their faith with complete freedom, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday during the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) 2012 conference in Jerusalem.
Americans and Israeli share "values that ensure that Israel's Christian population will always be free to practice their faith," Netanyahu said in his speech. "That's the only place in the Middle East where Christians are fully free to practice their faith. They don't have to fear. They don't have to flee." These values, which the prime minister said included a common biblical heritage and "revolutionary ideas," also assure that Israel's minorities, including Arabs and women, always have their civil rights.
"At a time when Christians are under siege in so many places, in so many lands in the Middle East, I'm proud that in Israel Christians are free to practice their faith. And to have a thriving Christian community in Israel," Netanyahu added. more >>
A conference held last week in Bethlehem between March 5-9 brought together more than 600 international and local Christians to discuss the future of Palestinian Christians and the ongoing Middle East conflict.
"Christ at the Checkpoint" addressed how to keep hope and faith in Christ amid the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and discussed biblical ways of viewing the issues that have historically divided the two communities. It was hosted by Bethlehem Bible College, an organization of Palestinian Evangelical Christians.
Although a lot has been written in recent times comparing the current Middle East situation to prophecies highlighted in the Bible, the conference leaders wanted to steer the discussion away from End Times talk and encourage the evangelical community to join Palestinians in following Jesus in the prophetic pursuance of justice, peace and reconciliation. more >>
In a pointed message to President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Obama a copy of the book of Esther, which recounts how Esther heroically prevented the massacre of Jews.
"The prime minister of Israel is many things, but subtle is not one of them," columnist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Wednesday for Bloomberg. "The message of Purim is: When the Jews see a murderous conspiracy forming against them, they will act to disrupt the plot. A further refinement of the message is: When the Jews see a plot forming against them in Persia, they will act to disrupt the plot, even if Barack Obama wishes that they would wait for permission."
Jews will be celebrating Purim on Wednesday and Thursday this week to remember Esther's deeds. Esther, a Jew, was selected to be the Queen of Persia, but kept her religion secret. In her position, she wittingly prevented a plot to kill all the Jews in Persia. more >>