July 31, 20085711 readsA moment before beginning his supper, Masab, son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, glances at the friend who has accompanied him to the restaurant where we met. They whisper a few words and then say grace, thanking God and Jesus for putting food on their plates.
It takes a few seconds to digest this sight: The son of a Hamas MP who is also the most popular figure in that extremist Islamic organization in the West Bank, a young man who assisted his father for years in his political activities, has become a rank-and-file Christian. A few seconds later, he is savoring his meal, explaining that he hasn't been eating much recently because of financial problems. During the past week he has been living with the friend, a Christian, of course, whom he met at church. "Without him," he says, "I would have become homeless."
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz, July 31, 2008
May 15, 20084128 readsOver 1000 senior leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million church-going Anglicans, have registered for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem at the close of the online registration process. They include 280 bishops, almost all accompanied by their wives. Final attendance figures will depend on smooth processing of requested visas, and other factors.
News Release, May 12, 2008
May 15, 20083167 readsPope Benedict appealed to Israel on Monday to help stem a sharp decline in the country's minority Christian population, saying Catholics had grown particularly vulnerable to Middle East conflicts.
He also called for Israel to allow greater mobility for Palestinians, including travel to places of worship, "so that they too can enjoy greater peace and security".
By Phil Stewart, Rueters, May 15, 2008
March 10, 20083737 reads
The Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Holy Land and Jordan, offered "sincere condolences to all who are mourning the loss of loved ones" in the wake of a March 6 shooting incident at a rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem that left eight people dead, and after the violence that has killed at least 120 people in Gaza this past week.
Web site of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, March 8, 2008
February 14, 20084474 readsIt was recently my great privilege to witness a groundbreaking moment in American evangelical history. Bob Roberts, pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas welcomed Bishara Awad, president of Bethlehem Bible College to his church for a face to face interview in front of his congregation. During this interview, Roberts tackled some of the most daunting and unacknowledged issues that face the church in the west today: those of our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ who so often remain ignored and even discriminated against by fellow Christians.
Hannah Byrd, Special For "Come and See", Feb 14, 2008
January 24, 20083365 readsWhile many Catholics in the Middle East suffer from discrimination and may even be denied religious freedom, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged them to engage in dialogue with their Muslim and Jewish neighbors and to strengthen their bonds with other Christians.
The pope met Jan. 18 at the Vatican with the Latin-rite bishops of Israel, the Palestinian territories, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Somalia. The bishops were making their "ad limina" visits to the Vatican to report on the status of their dioceses.
By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, Jan 18, 2008
January 15, 20083507 readsOn January 5, 2008 the impossible became temporarily possible when members of Gaza Baptist Church were issued special permits to cross into Israel in celebration of Christmas as guests of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel. For many, it was their first visit into the country, having spent years only a matter of miles away. The day was sunny and full of hopeful promise, a point not taken for granted by the family of Rami Ayyad, who gave his life as a martyr to the Christian faith in Gaza only a few months ago. Some of his family members were among members of the Gaza Baptist Church visiting Israel that day.
Special For "Come and See", Jan 15, 2008
December 07, 20074767 readsThis week the Bush State Department is devoting its full diplomatic efforts toward bringing a two-state resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Over the past few months, they have put on a full-court press to gather a broad representation of Arab world leaders to join Israeli and Palestinian negotiators for a historic meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to a program of sustained and focused negotiations throughout 2008.
David Neff, Christianity Today, Dec 7, 2007
November 26, 20074269 readsChristian leaders across denominational lines responded to the unprecedented open letter signed last month by 138 representative Muslim leaders with their own letter, calling on the two Abrahamic faiths to love God and neighbors together. >br>
Over 100 theologians, ministry leaders, and prominent pastors have thus far signed the response letter issued by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.
Signers include Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church; John Stott, rector emeritus of All Souls Church in London; and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
By Ethan Cole, Christian Post, Nov. 23 2007