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Mona Pereth
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17 Dec 2023, 3:30 pm

Wondering if there are any organizations of American Christians to support Palestinian Christians, I found the following:

- The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)
- Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)

As I remarked here, I hope someone here in the U.S.A. starts a group with a name like "American Christian Friends of Palestinian Christians," which would encourage American Christian churches to "adopt" Palestinian churches of their own respective denominations. Such an organization could serve as a needed counterbalance to "Christian Friends of Israeli Communities," which raises money for the illegal-under-international-law Israeli settlements and invites each American evangelical church to "adopt" an Israeli settlement.


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19 Dec 2023, 10:48 am

Pope Calls Israel’s Attacks On Gaza Civilians "Terrorism" - news story by The Majority Report



Here are relevant news stories from Vatican News:

- Pope condemns attacks on civilians in Gaza: ‘It is war; it is terrorism’: "Pope Francis launches a heartfelt appeal for an end to the “terrorism” of war, and condemns an Israeli military attack on Gaza’s Holy Family Catholic Parish, which killed two Christian women and destroyed a convent of the Missionaries of Charity." - 17 December 2023

- Gaza parish priest: ‘I knew victims of attack on Catholic church’ - "Fr. Gabriel Romanelli, the parish priest of the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza, laments the murder by Israeli snipers of two Christian women who had taken refuge in the church compound." - 18 December 2023

- Sr. Nabila: World leaders must open their eyes on catastrophe in Gaza - "Sister Nabila Saleh of the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza speaks to Vatican News about the two parishioners murdered by Israeli snipers on December 16 pleads for the international community to act to stop the war, as Catholic Ordinaries’ issue new appeal for peace." - 19 December 2023


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19 Dec 2023, 5:56 pm

Faithful few: can Gaza’s Christian community survive? by Donald Macintyre, Guardian, U.K., Sun 23 Dec 2018: "Gaza is home to a mere 1,100 Christians, who must obtain permits just to visit Jerusalem. We ask them how they see their future."

This article was published five years ago, well before the current war.

Some excerpts:

Quote:
As Hatem al-Far waited with dwindling hope for an Israeli permit that would allow him out of Gaza this Christmas, he showed a picture on his phone of his first grandson, eight-month-old Ibrahim, and wondered when, if ever, he would see him in the flesh.

This year Far, 53, has a double reason for wanting permission to leave Gaza: he wants to attend the Greek Orthodox midnight mass in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity with his family and attend Ibrahim’s christening, which has been postponed in the hope that his grandfather will make it to the West Bank. “I’m not asking for much,” he said. “I’m living in one Palestinian city, and all I want is to travel to another Palestinian city for a few days.”

Compared with the privations suffered by much of Gaza, the problem faced by Far may not sound overly harsh. But the separation threatening the family is symbolic of the plight of Gaza’s Christians, a community smaller, and arguably under greater pressure, than at any time in its history of at least 1,800 years.

If he is allowed out to join his wife – who has a Christmas permit and has already left for the West Bank – Far will certainly return to his native Gaza, which, like most Palestinian Christians here, he has no desire to leave for good. He works for the Catholic NGO Caritas, coordinating its mobile clinics in Gaza, including one set up recently to treat those shot by Israeli troops while taking part in border protests against the Gaza blockade, which has cost the lives of 220 Palestinians since March.

[...]

A recent poll by the respected Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research found that 50% of the two million Palestinians in Gaza want to emigrate (as opposed to 22% from the West Bank), lacking only the chance to do so.

It is hardly surprising after a mainly Israeli but also Egyptian 11-year blockade that has left Gaza’s economy in what the World Bank describes as “freefall”, with unemployment at 53% – and more than 70% among the under-25s. Over the same period three Israeli military onslaughts against Hamas have killed more than 2,000 non-combatant Palestinians, according to the Israeli human rights agency B’Tselem.

“We are Palestinians first and last,” said Christian activist George Anton. “We are totally suffering from the occupation.”

[...]

Today’s Greek Orthodox church in the Zeitoun district of Gaza City stands on the site from which its fourth-century patron saint began converting local inhabitants from paganism. By the sixth century most Gazans were Christian, following a long era, economically and culturally rich, under the Roman empire. In 570 an Italian pilgrim wrote: “Gaza is a lovely and renowned city, with most noble people distinguished by every kind of liberal accomplishment. They are welcoming to strangers.” (Palestinians in Gaza still are).

But although Gazans switched rapidly to Islam after Arab victories in the seventh century, Christianity did not die out. There is archaeological evidence that what rapidly became a minority religion coexisted peacefully with the new Muslim one – as it still does today. But its shrinking has accelerated during the military turbulence of the past half-century.

In the mid-1960s, before the six-day war and Gaza’s occupation by Israel, there were about 6,000 Christians in Gaza; today there are an estimated 1,100. Marwan Tarazi, 60, a member of one of Gaza’s largest Christian extended families, said: “Sometimes you wonder for how long there will still be a community here.”

For now, however, it is very much alive. True, there hasn’t been a municipal Christmas tree in Gaza City’s Square of the Unknown Soldier since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000. But they are lit up in every Christian home, even the poorer ones.

On Saturday night an elaborately decorated four-metre steel “tree” was unveiled at a celebration for 400 people at the YMCA, which has been at the heart of Gaza’s Christian community since 1954.

In the city’s Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood, the Gift Palace shop was packed with Chinese-made plastic trees, baubles, Santa hats, and even racy above-the-knee “Father Christmas” nightdresses, all of which appealed, said owner Abdulla Abdel Majd, to Muslims as well as Christians. Majd admitted “a few Sheikhs” had complained about the display, but he was doing a brisk trade, although down on last year.

And Christian parents were busy preparing “Barbara”, the squishy cakes of nuts, cinnamon and aniseed that Arab Christians share with family, friends and neighbours between St Barbara’s Day on 4 December and Christmas – which, for the Orthodox, the large majority of Gaza’s Christians, is on 7 January.

But religion is at the heart of the celebrations. Last Sunday’s sung mass at the Latin (Catholic) church incorporated the Christmas liturgy in honour of the Italian celebrant, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, making his seasonal visit from Jerusalem. While acknowledging it might be a strange time to talk of “joy, hope and peace”, the archbishop told worshippers: “God is not just in heaven but among us. Our faith creates something that goes beyond human possibilities.”

He had a point. The churches’ three private schools, whose fees range from $700-$900 a year, serve mostly Muslim pupils, and the Catholic Rosary Sisters provide the sole care for some of the most severely disabled children from across the Strip. A vocational centre run by a Christian Gazan, Imad Jelda, for the Near East Council of Churches serves 140 boys and young men aged 14 to 23, mainly from poor backgrounds, and all Muslims. In the cooling and air-conditioning department – where one trainee, Mohammed Satari, has a degree in accounting but thought he had a “better chance of a job here” – Jelda asked the group how many would like to leave Gaza. All put their hands up.

The NECC vocational centre exemplifies the high level of integration Christians enjoy – for the most part – with the wider and overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim community. Not that their relations have always been trouble-free. In 2006, when the Danish publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad sparked outrage, the Latin church received a series of threatening – and unsigned – faxes. In October 2007, the Baptist manager of a Christian bookshop was murdered, apparently by Salafist extremists.

After both incidents Hamas pledged to give its protection, and Bassem Naim, an international relations spokesman for the faction, insisted last week: “We are one family. The Christians are part of our society.” Senior Christians insist the relations with Hamas are ones of mutual respect.

[...]

But permits to leave for Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas remain a problem, partly because they divide families. Tarazi, who feared last week that her father, Daoud, would be the only member of her family to secure one, said: “Sometimes there are families where only the children get the permits, so they cannot go.”

The Israeli military said it had granted 401 permits to adults and 219 to children under 16. But, perhaps ominously for Far, it warned that if those leaving did not return to Gaza it would “influence” the allocation of permits to their close family members.

Archbishop Pizzaballa, when asked about the permits, said: “We shouldn’t have to ask for permission at all. It should be our right. The international community should be doing everything it can to change the humanitarian situation here, including the right of citizens to move.”

Although data is hard to come by, many Christians tend to be among the less economically stricken of the broad mass of Gaza’s population, as well as having family and community networks which can welcome them abroad or in the West Bank if they leave.

However, there are also poorer ones. Wadir Turk, 52, who is unemployed, and his Egyptian wife Intisar, 45, could hardly afford a Christmas tree this year for their three children on the 1,000 shekels (£210) a month Intisar earns at the Rosary Sisters’ disabled centre and meagre social security payments they receive from the Palestinian Authority.

Nevertheless, a 2014 YMCA-sponsored survey estimated that 41% of Christians are graduates, compared with 13.4% of the whole Gazan population, and illiteracy is at 1.1% compared with an overall 3.6%. It also recorded that unemployment among recent Christian graduates was about 60% and would be higher without community-based job-creation and training schemes.


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21 Dec 2023, 9:03 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Almost a third of the members of the PLO were Christians.


Interesting. I didn't know that.

naturalplastic wrote:
The first act of "Arab terrorism" committed on US soil was the assassination of Bobby Kennedy (for his support for giving fifty jet fighters to Israel)by Sirhan Sirhan who was a Christian Palestinian.


Well, there are several who would dispute that Sirhan Sirhan was responsible, including some credible hypnosis experts who believe he'd been hypnotized on the day of the shooting. RFK Jr himself doesn't believe Sirhan Sirhan was responsible. But maybe that's a subject for another thread.



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21 Dec 2023, 9:05 am

As the journalist Jonathan Cook recently pointed out on twitter: "Israel has a long, covert history of trying to rid the region of Palestinian Christians. Why? Because they complicate the self-serving clash of civilisations narrative Israel cultivates to win over westerners."

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/sta ... 1003108728

In the same tweet, Cook linked to several articles he's written about the Christians of Palestine:
https://www.jonathan-cook.net/tag/christians/



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21 Dec 2023, 9:10 am

The deputy mayor of Jerusalem recently appeared on LBC radio in the UK where she shamelessly lied that "there are no churches in Gaza", then followed that up with the lie that there are "no Christians" in Gaza because "Hamas has driven them out".



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24 Dec 2023, 1:51 am

From Bethlehem, the city where Jesus is traditionally believed to have been born:

Christ in the Rubble: A Liturgy of Lament, Dec 23, 2023:



On the YouTube channel of Christ at the Checkpoint. Description:

Quote:
Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac gives a liturgy of lament, in a live broadcast service from the Lutheran Christmas Church in Palestine, shared by Bethlehem Bible College, Churches for Middle East Peace, Evangelicals for Justice, Global Immersion, Red Letter Christians, and Network of Evangelicals for the Middle East (NEME). (Sermon begins around 28:00) Dec. 23, 2023

The sermon is in English.

The people in the pews apparently include some international visitors (whom the pastor thanks during the sermon) as well as local people, although the usual Christmas tourism has been canceled this year.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 24 Dec 2023, 2:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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24 Dec 2023, 2:35 am

‘Jesus in the rubble’: Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem canceled by William Booth and Sufian Taha, Washington Post, December 23, 2023:

Quote:
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — At Christmastime, the world comes to Bethlehem. The rooftop of the city hall is packed with camera crews from around the globe to capture a towering tree in Manger Square as the bells toll for midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity, built upon the grotto where, by tradition, Jesus was born.

This year there will be no tree. No parades, bands or music. No lights. No markets, no feasts, no carols. No Santas handing out candy to the children.

And no pilgrims. No tourists.

In place of traditional holiday decorations, one church here has created a simple Nativity scene for Christmas 2023: Jesus enters the world amid a pile of Gazan rubble.

The atmosphere in Bethlehem on the eve of Christmas this year is somber, dark, sad — and political.

The mass of Boy Scouts who traditionally accompany the Latin Patriarch’s procession into the city — 28 troops’ worth, blasting bagpipes — has been pared down to a single silent troop. The boys will hold aloft Bible verses on peace and, perhaps, photographs of Gazan children.

The mass of Boy Scouts who traditionally accompany the Latin Patriarch’s procession into the city — 28 troops’ worth, blasting bagpipes — has been pared down to a single silent troop. The boys will hold aloft Bible verses on peace and, perhaps, photographs of Gazan children.

Christian leaders here are careful to condemn the surprise Hamas attack on Israeli communities on Oct. 7, when the militants killed 1,200 people and took about 240 more hostage, triggering current hostilities. But they appear most focused on the war since. The Israel Defense Forces, fighting to eradicate Hamas, have killed more than 20,000 people in Gaza, the enclave’s Health Ministry said Friday. With water, food and shelter all short, international aid groups warn a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding.

The Holy Land is home mostly to Jews and Muslims. But 2 percent of the Palestinian population of the West Bank is Christian, with many of them proudly tracing their roots back a millennium or more. There also exists a tiny remnant of Christians — maybe a thousand people, no more — in Gaza.

In his annual Christmas message, Bethlehem Mayor Hanna Hanania spoke this year of mourning — and condemned Israel’s prosecution of the war in Gaza as “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.”

So did the head of the chamber of commerce. “I am sad and upset at the moral failure of the West” to stop the killing of civilians in Gaza, Samir Hazboun said.

Christian clergy here use similar language, blaming the failure to protect the innocent on world leaders including President Biden.

The Rev. Munther Isaac, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, stood beside the small Nativity scene in his chapel. The baby Jesus sat amid flickering candles atop a pile of busted cement and dirty stone.

“This is what Christmas looks like in Palestine,” Issac said. “This is the true message.”

At first, he said, the idea of placing the birth of Jesus in a war zone “was shocking — it was hard for even our own people. But it left a strong impression because the image is very real, it confronts you with the reality — then and now — in a very powerful way.”

“If Jesus were born today,” he said, “he would be born in Gaza amid the rubble.”

“Who can sing ‘Joy to the World’ today?”

Photos of the scene have gone viral. A similar installation is to be placed in Manger Square before Christmas Eve.

Today, Isaac said, the Christmas story feels more contemporary than ever. In the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph, a Jewish man living in Palestine under Roman rule, is forced to report to Bethlehem for a census. He takes his young, pregnant wife, Mary. Unable to find lodgings — there’s no room at the inn — they settle in a stable.

There, in a manger — a feed trough for animals — Mary gives birth to the child who the faithful believe is the son of God.

King Herod of Judea, learning of the birth of a rival, orders that all male children under 2 be killed: the Slaughter of the Innocents. Jesus, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt.

“So the story is Jesus is born into hardship, lived under occupation, survived a massacre and became a refugee,” Isaac said.

“This is a story we Palestinians can understand.”

Bethlehem is just a few miles south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. There are 12 miles of high wall and fencing. There are Israeli checkpoints to get in and out of the city, where Palestinians on foot pass through scanners and answer questions by Israeli border guards. Many of those check points are closed now, or only open a few hours a day, because of the Gaza war and the rise in violence in the West Bank.

Hanania said he “cannot believe what we are watching in Gaza. These are the worst days that Palestinians have ever seen.”

In the lead-up to the holiday this year, the painstakingly renovated Church of the Nativity, which dates back to the 6th century, has seen almost no visitors.

A few journalists wandered about. A Danish priest and his daughter came. A local family marveled at the graffiti from the Crusades and the restored 12th-century mosaics depicting hovering angels.

“It’s like the covid times, but worse,” custodian Nicola Hadur said.

In a normal year, he said, pilgrims and tourists would wait in multiple lines for hours to see the cave in which Jesus is said to have been born.

There are 78 hotels and 5,700 rooms in Bethlehem today. In normal times, 6,000 tourists come daily — you can’t move for the tour buses.

There were only 624 foreign visitors during the entire month of November, according to the tourist police. Most were from Indonesia.

Behind the Church of the Nativity, Victor Tabah’s souvenir shop sat empty.

“I do not blame anyone for this situation, not Hamas or anyone,” the 77-year-old grandfather said. “We have to blame ourselves, we need to be strong and have to keep going.”

This year? “Christmas is finished, we do not see Christmas anymore, it is supposed to be for our children, but we do not have a Christmas anymore,” said Tabah, who has three children and seven grandchildren.

Rami Asakrieh, a Franciscan friar, is pastor of St. Catherine’s Church, where midnight Mass is to be celebrated. (Masses by the Orthodox and other Christian faiths will follow.)

“They say that we are canceling Christmas,” Asakrieh said. “But we have only canceled the celebrations of Christmas. We will say Mass.”

“It’s impossible to celebrate when so many — on both sides — have lost so much,” he said. “We canceled the festivities as a sign of solidarity with the victims of the war.”

Asakrieh joined the other clerics of Bethlehem last month in sending a letter to Biden and to Congress. “God has placed political leaders in a position of power so that they can bring justice, support those who suffer, and be instruments of God’s peace,” they wrote.

“We need the Christmas message more than ever,” Asakrieh said. “We need the peace and love. We need the light.”


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24 Dec 2023, 4:40 pm

Christmas celebrations canceled in Bethlehem

https://www.axios.com/2023/12/24/bethle ... alestinian


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24 Dec 2023, 4:59 pm

Christian religious services are still happening, though. I will try to find videos and other info and post links.

In the meantime, here is a livestream, not of a religious service, but of Manger Square in Bethlehem, Palestine, in the occupied West Bank.


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24 Dec 2023, 6:24 pm

One of the oldest and most famous churches in the world, usually a tourist attraction (but not this year), is the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem. The church is built over a grotto which is traditionally believed to be the exact birthplace of Jesus.

Looking now at Wikipedia's page about the Church of the Nativity: This church is administered jointly by three of the world's oldest Christian denominations: Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic. Some other ancient church denominations also hold "minor rites" there: Coptic Orthodox (Egyptian), Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo, and Syriac Orthodox.

Looking now at a page on UNESCO's website: Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem. This page contains historical info about the church, plus a photo which is a link to a page containing photos of various parts of the church, including the grotto. Each photo can be clicked on to view a larger version. The second photo shows the part of the cave where Jesus is traditionally believed to have been born, with a fourteen-pointed star on the floor marking the exact place.

More information about the Basilica of the Nativity can be found on the website of the Custodia Terrae Sanctae, Franciscans Serving in the Holy Land. (See Wikipedia for a history of this centuries-old Roman Catholic organization.)

On Custodia Terrae Sanctae's page there is a link to the following YouTube video, posted Jan 17, 2019:

Nativity Church in Bethlehem



This video begins with the traditional Christmas story, and then goes on to tell the history of the Church of the Nativity.

Another relevant video I found on YouTube: Tour of the Nativity Church, posted back on Aug 30, 2013:



And here is a page about the Church of the Nativity on Bethlehem Gate, a website for tourists.


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24 Dec 2023, 7:34 pm

Here is a link to a YouTube livestream of this year's Midnight mass at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. The event is now over, but hopefully there will soon be a recorded version available at this link. It is described as follows:

Quote:
Watch live as midnight mass is held in Bethlehem this evening (24 December), to mark the start of Christmas, despite the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, will be in attendance, along with public worshippers from Jerusalem.

The ceremonies give people the opportunity to mark Jesus’ birthday, as well as the sacrifices he made throughout his life, with bread and wine being shared among the congregation.

It’s not known if there will be reference to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, however, Bethlehem’s annual nativity scene looked a little different this year.

What is usually a celebratory scene of the birth of Jesus in bright lights, has been depicted in razor wire and rubble, in a nod to real world events.

Baby Jesus’ swaddle can be seen covered in dirt, in scenes similar to that of the real children involved in the conflict.

Meanwhile, here is a YouTube video of a separate Christmas Eve Mass 2023 that was held at the nearby Church of Saint Catherine in Bethlehem, followed by a procession to the Grotto of the Nativity.



(Here is a Wikipedia page about the Church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem. And here is the official web page of Bethlehem Parish - St. Catherine Church on the website of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.)


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24 Dec 2023, 9:09 pm

More about the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. Here is Al Jazeera's story, Bethlehem Nativity Scene Puts Jesus in Gaza Rubble, published back on December 13, 2023. Excerpt:

Quote:
JERUSALEM — A church in the West Bank city of Bethlehem has politicized its annual nativity scene, laying a figure of baby Jesus amid the rubble of a destroyed masonry building to represent the Gaza Strip this Christmas season.

“This is what Christmas looks like in Palestine,” Rev. Dr. Munther Ishaq, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, told Al-Jazeera, explaining that his crèche featuring building debris was a gesture of solidarity with Gaza's beleaguered civilians caught between Hamas gunmen and Israeli Defense Forces.

On the 800th anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi setting up the first Nativity scene, Ishaq’s church and the nearby Church of the Nativity — where Jesus was born in a manger and celebrated by Christians on Dec. 25, likely between 6 and 4 B.C.E — are both deserted today.

Equally gloomy are the prospects for the many stores and hotels which cater to tourists. In fact, there’s plenty of room at the inn. No traditional Christmas tree will be placed this month in Manger Square though a more modest ceremony will be held in Beit Sahour.

“Christmas celebrations are canceled this year — for it's impossible to celebrate Christmas while our people in Gaza are going through a genocide,” said the Palestinian theologian. “Usually, it's Jesus in the manger surrounded by the shepherds, surrounded by the Holy Family Joseph and Mary and the magi who came from the east.

“Here we wanted to say that it is as if they are looking for Jesus in the midst of the rubble. We wanted to send a message to the world – a message that while the whole world is celebrating Christmas in festive ways, here in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus where Christmas originated from, this is what Christmas looks like to us.”

On Oct. 22, Ishaq preached against the IDF offensive from his pulpit at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem and at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the adjoining town of Beit Sahour. The sermon followed the IDF’s strike on Gaza City's oldest active church, the historic St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church. The bombing killed 18 people, injured others and displaced about 400 civilians who were taking shelter in the church complex.

“Christmas is the solidarity of God with those who are oppressed, with those who are suffering, and if Jesus is to be born again, this time this year he will be born in Gaza under the rubble in solidarity with the people of Gaza,” Ishaq said. “Our hope is in our faith. Our hope is in our resilience. So while Christmas celebrations are canceled, Christmas prayers are not canceled. And maybe when we look at the image of Jesus under the rubble, we see a light of hope and life coming out of destruction, life coming out of death.”

Ishaq, the academic dean of Bethlehem Bible College and the director of the Christ at the Checkpoint conferences, is also the author of “The Other Side of the Wall: A Palestinian Christian Narrative of Lament and Hope.”

“They besieged our Palestinian family in Gaza, described them as monsters, and blamed them,” he said. “Israel Defense Forces bombed their homes, razed their neighborhoods to the ground, displaced them, and blamed them. Our families — brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nephews, and nieces — took refuge in schools where they were bombed, in hospitals, where they were bombed, in places of worship where they were bombed, and then they were blamed.

“We are broken. The people of Gaza are suffering. They have lost everything except their dignity. Many attained glory — they attained martyrdom — even if they did not ask for it. Now, again in our history, they find themselves facing the same choice: death or displacement.”


On YouTube: Nativity scene places baby Jesus in rubble


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25 Dec 2023, 6:19 am

A Palestinian Christian's Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian War: Daniel Bannoura on the YouTube channel of Preston Sprinkle, Oct 23, 2023:



According to the description:

Quote:
Daniel was born in Jerusalem and grew up in a Christian family from the little town of Bethlehem in Palestine. He holds a BS from University of Florida, an MA from London School of Theology, another MA from University of Chicago, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology from Notre Dame University. In this podcast conversation, Daniel gives a 150 year historical and political overview of Jewish and Palestinian relations, which has led to the recent war in Gaza.

Daniel Bannoura has put together a list of Palestine-Israel resources, as a Google doc.

About the host: "Preston Sprinkle is a professor, speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author. He earned a Ph.D. in New Testament from Aberdeen University in Scotland (2007), and he's been a professor of theology at Cedarville University (OH), Nottingham University (England), and Eternity Bible College (CA and ID)."


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Mona Pereth
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Location: New York City (Queens)

25 Dec 2023, 7:11 am

Videos of Christmas Eve midnight masses in Bethlehem, with narrated English translation:

- Church of the Nativity - Sky News. Homily (including mention of current events) begins here.
- Church of St. Catherine - Salt + Light Media


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Mona Pereth
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26 Dec 2023, 5:44 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
As I remarked here, I hope someone here in the U.S.A. starts a group with a name like "American Christian Friends of Palestinian Christians," which would encourage American Christian churches to "adopt" Palestinian churches of their own respective denominations. Such an organization could serve as a needed counterbalance to "Christian Friends of Israeli Communities," which raises money for the illegal-under-international-law Israeli settlements and invites each American evangelical church to "adopt" an Israeli settlement.

Turns out that some (though not very many) American churches are already partnering with Palestinian congregations. In the article ‘It’s impossible to celebrate’: Gaza war opens fissures among US Christians, Guardian (U.K.), Sun 24 Dec 2023:

Quote:
Susan Wilder, a minister at the Grace Presbyterian church in Springfield, Virginia, joined an international delegation of Christian leaders spending Christmas in Bethlehem in solidarity with the Palestinians.

[...]

This Christmas, Wilder’s church will conduct a “prayer of mourning and solidarity” with a Christian congregation in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. They have had a partnership with the Palestinian congregation for the past 16 years, but “this is the worst the situation has ever been for them”, said Wilder referring to the death toll in besieged Gaza and settler violence in the West Bank.


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- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
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