As the land is torn apart by conflict, the ancient church in Palestine has often been ignored by the West.
Who are we? Why is this happening? And what is our part in the story? These three questions face a beleaguered Christian minority in Palestine, says Yousef Alkhouri of Bethlehem Bible College.
To answer them, the college is offering a new course for this spring semester entitled “Christian Theology and Ideology in Palestine.” AlKhouri says the course is open to the public and is separated into nine topics. The class has averaged 80 people attending per session. “Together, the audience consists of Christians and Muslims, women and men of all ages.”
AlKhouri says we understand theology based on our cultural and historical contexts, and Palestine is no different. He describes the Palestinian theological emphasis this way. “It’s a Christ-centered and Kingdom oriented, contextual theology. It holds firm to belief that God is just and God is loving. And we have seen and witnessed His love to the world through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It also stands firmly on Jesus’ command to love thy neighbor, Muslim or Jew.”
And this theology flows out of deep wounds Palestinian Christians have suffered since 1948 that have decimated the Palestinian church.
“Let me be honest here,” AlKhouri says, “there has been a faith crisis in the Palestinian Christian society due to the conflict in this land, and [because] many Christians in the West have been blindly supporting the politics of the Israeli state.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray that the church in Palestine would be the hands and feet of Christ, and that Christ’s kingdom would grow in the Holy Land.
- Pray that the land where Jesus once lived would become a land of peace, and not conflict.
- If you go on a trip to the Holy Land, visit the small Christian community there.