Israel's parliament has approved a compensation plan for settlers that could pave the way for the government's disengagement plan. This plan could be the first step toward peace in a region plagued by terrorism. As Christians, we know what this means for the future, but what about evangelism short-term?
Open Doors with Brother Andrew works in Israel helping persecuted believers in the region reach out with the hope of Christ. President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller says the Christian population in Israel has been affected. "From maybe 30 to 50 percent of the West Bank and Gaza being Christian in 1950, to now about 1.5 percent and that's because of the violence that's taken place."
Moeller hopes the disengagement plan will, "Provide space for the church and for Christians and as well as Palestinians and Israelis to come together. What's really happened is that the tensions on both sides have been reduced greatly. So, we're hopeful (and) prayerful that this is what God will use to bring revival of His church in the Middle East."
For Palestinian Christians facing violence from both sides, says Moeller, "They get caught in the crossfire, because to the Israelis they're Palestinians and (to them) all Palestinians are terrorists. To the Palestinian Arabs and Islamists, they're Christians. And, the Christians represent the west and Israel. So, in very real sense they're caught in between these two warring factions." He says this is a unique place of opportunity for the church because it can speak to both sides.
Moeller says the church is the only group that can help in reconciliation. "The church is the hope for peace. It's what Jesus said would bring peace, His peace and that's what we're praying for right now."
Funding is needed to help provide Christian resources and help fund churches in the region.