Christians persecuted by Palestinian Muslims in Jerusalem

“Seven years of harassment and attacks by hard-line Muslims have finally forced a Palestinian church in East Jerusalem out of their building” the church leaders of the Calvary Baptist Church said and continued “The persecution started almost immediately after the congregation moved into the building in a predominantly Muslim area in 2007.” The congreation now looks for new premises elsewhere.

So how these evangelical Christians been treated by their neighbours all these years?

  • Already at the start a member of the congregation was threatened with a knife,
  • muslims have tried to set the churchbuilding on fire,
  • some of the church’s playground-sets for childrenhas been damaged,
  • cars parked at the church ground has been damaged,
  • children coming to the church gatherings have been physically attacked.

On top of this the traditional churches, such as the Orthodox Christians, who have been present in Jerusalem since the beginning of Christianity, haven’t been too welcoming to these evangelical Christian newcomers either, although they don’t persecute the evangelicals like the muslims do. It’s somewhat puzzling, but it seems as if the “traditional” churches feel that the evangelicals try to lead their church members astray as they don’t consider them to be true Christians. Of course this creates tension.

But is that a good reason for not preaching the gospel? Maybe the evangelicals ought to direct their mission primarily and more clearly towards the Muslim Palestinian Arabs ? And why not try to learn more and and come closer to the Orthodox, Catholics and other Christians?  After all they have been far longer in Jerusalem than the evangelicals, so I think it’s only fair play to pay proper respect to these “traditional” churches in order to keep the unity in Christ. I have a feeling that our Lord has been and is with the Orthodox Christians and other “traditional” Christians, as they have managed to survive for so long and under such in times hard circumstances.

For the whole story – read today’s: Voice of the Persecuted.