I have three smart Palestinian Israeli boys who should go back to school on September 1, 2015. I have bought their books and provided everything that they might need. However, I am not sure if the schools will open. I am not sure if I should blame the state of Israel, the ministry of Education, or the school that my children attend.
Since 1948, churches in Israel assumed a direct responsibility for providing school education for Palestinians inside Israel. Almost 33,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel attend Christian primary and secondary (K-12) schools. However, Christian schools in Israel say that unfair treatment by government my force them to close.
During the last few years, the state’s ministry of Education has been decreasing governmental financial support. In addition- New ministry of Education regulations limited the capacity of collecting fees from parents. Schools can get only 50% of what parents used to pay. In other words, Christian schools are not only receiving less money from the ministry of Education but the government has also forced them to decrease their fees.
The ministry of Education is willing to provide 100% support if Christian schools become official governmental schools. Put differently, these Christian schools can no longer maintain their unique identity and characteristics. The tension between the Israeli government and its Palestinian Christian citizens is escalating. The tract of negotiating is not bringing forth fruitful results. Consequently, the schools are moving toward starting a strike as a response to the steps imposed by the ministry of Education. No doubt these actions will make the lives of Christians in Israel very difficult. In light of the above, please join me in the following prayers.
1. May Israeli leaders seek the best interest of their Christian citizens and allow the latter to continue their educational ministry without marginalizing their unique Christian identity.
2. May the leaders of schools seek the best interest of their students and honor Jesus Christ sacrificially.
3. May the needs of the students and their parents be met in ways that are honoring to Jesus Christ and to spreading the Kingdom of God in Israel.
4. May God move our hearts so that we can pray for our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in Israel as well as do everything we can to support their educational needs.
Please join us in praying the aforementioned issues as well as in fasting and praying this coming Saturday (22nd of August 2015).