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Mona Pereth
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02 Dec 2023, 12:51 am

In this thread I will post links to articles about Palestinian Christians.

First, here are Wikipedia articles about the three Christian churches in Gaza:

- Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius -- one of the oldest churches in the world. "It belongs to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and is the oldest active church in the city and is said to be the third oldest church in the world. Located in the Zaytun Quarter of the Old City of Gaza, it is named after the 5th-century bishop of Gaza, Saint Porphyrius, whose tomb is situated in the northeastern corner of the church."

- Catholic Holy Family Church

- Gaza Baptist Church


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02 Dec 2023, 7:55 am

Almost a third of the members of the PLO were Christians.

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.

In contrast to the secular PLO, the Islamist HAMAS is (I assume) all Muslim in membership.



Mona Pereth
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02 Dec 2023, 12:16 pm

I'm not Christian myself. (I was born in a Christian family but gave up Christianity at the age of 15.)

However, it surprises me how little Western Christians care about Palestinian Christians.

Worldwide, almost all Muslims give at least lip service to caring about Palestinian Muslims. But it appears that most Christians, at least here in the West, don't give even lip service to caring, in any way whatsoever, about those Christians who have traditionally lived in the Holy Land and who are likely to be descended from people who knew Jesus in-person.

I wonder why. I suspect it may be due to a combination of (1) racism and (2) an overreaction against the West's own brutality back in the days of the medieval Crusades.

I don't think Western Christians should launch a full-blown medieval-style "Crusade" on behalf of Palestinian Christians. But I think they should at least listen to the remaining Palestinian Christians and be more aware of what Palestinians' lives are like. And, on behalf of Palestinian Christians, it seems to me that American Christians should advocate that U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine be more even-handed.

This would certainly be a better thing for American Christians to do than to whine about how they are supposedly "persecuted," here in the U.S.A., by being deprived of the ability to dictate the private lives of the rest of us.

So, with the aim of doing what little I can to encourage Western Christians to take more of an interest in their fellow Christians, I will post a series of links to articles about Palestinian Christians.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 02 Dec 2023, 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

naturalplastic
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02 Dec 2023, 3:03 pm

Many Israeli Arabs (not in the occupied territories) are Christian.

About six percent of the population of the West Bank is Christian.

But only about 1100 Christian Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip (less than one tenth of one percent of the Gazan population). So what Israel is doing right now to the Gaza Strip doesnt effect many of the subset of Palestinians who are Christians.



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02 Dec 2023, 4:28 pm

There used to be many more Christians in Gaza than there are now.

Also, the Christians of Gaza are one of the oldest continuously-existing Christian communities in the world, including the third oldest church in the world, dating back to the 5th century C.E. Gaza's Christian community itself is traditionally believed to be even older, going all the way back to Bible times. (In Acts 8:26 in the Christian Bible, an angel commands the Apostle Philip to go to Gaza.) In my opinion, the destruction of their community should be considered a crime against world culture.

See the following Al Jazeera articles:

- Gaza’s Christians fear ‘threat of extinction’ amid Israel war: "Israel’s assault on Gaza could spell the end of the Christian community’s long history in the enclave," by Federica Marsi and Ruwaida Amer, 10 Nov 2023.
- Under Israeli attack: Who are the Christians of Gaza?: "They’re small in number, but with deep roots that they are unwilling to leave behind," by Lorraine Mallinder, 31 Nov 2023.

See also this video on the Vatican's YouTube channel, linked in the second article above, showing a group of Palestinian children saying prayers at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Gaza. (Near the beginning, as the children are crossing themselves, you can hear a bomb blast in the background.)



In this thread I'll post links to articles about Christians on the West Bank too, but I will be emphasizing Christians in Gaza because they are the ones in the greatest danger right now obviously.


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Mona Pereth
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02 Dec 2023, 9:05 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Many Israeli Arabs (not in the occupied territories) are Christian.

About six percent of the population of the West Bank is Christian.

A big ongoing issue for Palestinianian Christians -- and Israeli Arab Christians too -- is not having the freedom to visit their holy places.

Before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, it is said to have been common for local Christians to go to the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, every Christmas; and to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, every Easter; and to visit, occasionally, various other sites of significant events in the life of Jesus. Visiting these sites, on the corresponding holy days, was a normal part of Christian life in the Holy Land.

But no more. And things got even worse after Israel conquered the West Bank.

These days, without special permission, Christian Israeli Arabs are not allowed to visit holy sites in Palestine, and, conversely, Christian Palestinians are not allowed to visit holy sites in Israel. And the needed special permission is often not granted.

For that matter, Christian Palestinians can't even travel freely from one Palestinian enclave to another -- and there are many separate little Palestinian enclaves within the West Bank.

Foreign tourists, with foreign visas, have MUCH more freedom to travel and visit holy places than do either Palestinian or Israeli Arab Christians. For example, this tourist guide says:

Quote:
Bethlehem (Palestine)

Bethlehem is perhaps the most important place to visit in the Holy Land, as it is the birthplace of Jesus and home to the Church of Nativity (under which Jesus was born, marked by a 14-pointed star set in the ground). Before visiting, do note that it is easier to visit with a tour group as Israeli Nationals cannot enter Bethlehem given that it is located in Palestinian territories, so there is a check point you will need to cross (bring your passport!)

Here is Wikipedia's List of Christian holy places in the Holy Land.


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02 Dec 2023, 9:34 pm

Excerpts from Under Israeli attack: Who are the Christians of Gaza?: "They’re small in number, but with deep roots that they are unwilling to leave behind," by Lorraine Mallinder, Al Jazeera, 31 Nov 2023.

Quote:
How many Christians live in Gaza and where did they come from?

The number of Christians in Gaza has dwindled in recent years. Today there are only approximately 1,000 left, a sharp drop from the 3,000 registered in 2007, when Hamas assumed complete control over the enclave.

According to Kamel Ayyad, a spokesperson for the Church of Saint Porphyrius, the majority of the population is from Gaza itself. The rest fled here after the creation of the state of Israel, which displaced about 700,000 Palestinians – an event they refer to as the Nakba, or “catastrophe”.

Hamas rule brought an Israel-led land, air and sea blockade, accelerating the flight of Christians from the poverty-stricken enclave. “It’s become very difficult for people to live here,” says Ayyad. “Many of the Christians left for the West Bank, for America, Canada or the Arab world, seeking better education and health.”

While most of Gaza’s Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox faith, smaller numbers worship at the Catholic Holy Family Church and the Gaza Baptist Church. [...]

There is a fluidity to the Christian community in Gaza, with many families comprising members of different denominations. Fadi Salfiti, whose family fled from Nablus to Gaza in 1948, attended all churches.

“On Sunday mornings, we would go to the Orthodox church, in the afternoons, we would go to the Catholic church, and at night we’d go to the Protestant church,” he said.


Quote:
Palestine’s Christians, totalling 50,000 across the occupied territories, are sometimes referred to as ‘living stones’, a metaphor first invoked by Peter the Apostle, the ex-fisherman called upon to be a disciple of Jesus, to describe the role of believers in building the spiritual house of God. Today, the term harks to their special status as custodians of a faith born on their land.


Quote:
How are relations between Christians and Muslims in Gaza?

Living under siege, Christians in Gaza attest to a spirit of solidarity that has united faiths in their struggle for survival and their dream of freedom.

“We are all Palestinians. We live in the same city, with the same suffering. We are all under siege and are all the same,” said Ayyad.

Generally speaking, the Christian community has always played an important role in Palestinian life, producing luminaries such as Issa El-Issa, founder of the highly influential Jaffa-based newspaper Falastin, a key driver of Palestinian Arab nationalism during the British Mandate, and Edward Said, who laid bare Western complacency towards the East in his seminal book, Orientalism.

In Gaza, too, members of the tiny community play an outsized role.

“They tend to be very educated, with a strong presence in business and in the voluntary sector,” says Salfiti.

The YMCA, for example, which offers sports, arts, educational and welfare activities for Palestinians in Gaza of all faiths, is Christian-run. Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, devastated by last month’s Israeli air raid, which killed hundreds, is owned and operated by Anglicans.

Cut off from the world under the Israeli-led blockade, the community has at times felt vulnerable. In 2007, it was rocked by the murder of Rami Ayyad, manager of the Teacher’s Bookshop, a Baptist-run store in the strip that had also been firebombed months earlier. No group took responsibility for the murder, which Hamas condemned, saying they “would not allow anyone to sabotage” Muslim-Christian relations.

But the killers were never brought to justice.

Overall, however, the communities are united in resisting their collective entrapment in what has been called the world’s largest open-air prison.

Just as Muslims have been denied permits to visit Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Christians have also been unable to visit sacred places like Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, revered as the birthplace of Jesus. Both communities are cut off from family members in the West Bank.


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11 Dec 2023, 4:04 pm

In Bethlehem (the birthplace of Jesus according to the Gospels), which is a part of West Bank Area A (governed by the Palestinian Authority), there is an evangelical Christian college called Bethlehem Bible College, which holds a conference, every two years, called "Christ at the Checkpoint." The conference's website currently says the following:

Quote:
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

The 7th “Christ at the Checkpoint” Conference, organized by Bethlehem Bible College, will focus on the theme “Do Justice, Love Mercy: Christian Witness in Contexts of Oppression.” This conference has an evangelical spirit. Among the distinctives that make it unique are: 1) Quality speakers, 2) Giving voice to Palestinian Christians, 3) Openness to diverse perspectives, 4) Dialogue, and 5) Activism.

The aim of Christ at the Checkpoint is to provide an opportunity for Evangelical Christians to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation. We seek to renew the biblical call for justice and mercy in contexts of oppression and compel a unified mission of the global Church.

We are a community of evangelical Christians who believe that following Jesus with integrity means that our lives are formed by our love for God, the teaching of the Bible and a fearless life of discipleship in the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that one of the first hallmarks of discipleship is love for both our own community and for our enemies. We wish to find Jesus at the center of everything we do and to make his life our life. Which means finding courageous love for Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews alike.

The conference also has a YouTube channel.


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Mona Pereth
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11 Dec 2023, 4:22 pm

The above-mentioned "Christ at the Checkpoint" website's home page also features a link to a change.org petition, A Call for Repentance: An Open Letter from Palestinian Christians to Western Church Leaders and Theologians, signed by representatives of a variety of Palestinian Christian organizations of various different denominations.

Quote:
“Learn to do right; seek justice; defend the oppressed” (Isa 1:17).

We, at the undersigned Palestinian Christian institutions and grassroots movements, grieve and lament the renewed cycle of violence in our land. As we were about to publish this open letter, some of us lost dear friends and family members in the atrocious Israeli bombardment of innocent civilians on October 19, 2023, Christians included, who were taking refuge in the historical Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza. Words fail to express our shock and horror with regard to the on-going war in our land. We deeply mourn the death and suffering of all people because it is our firm conviction that all humans are made in God’s image. We are also profoundly troubled when the name of God is invoked to promote violence and religious national ideologies.

Further, we watch with horror the way many western Christians are offering unwavering support to Israel’s war against the people of Palestine. While we recognize the numerous voices that have spoken and continue to speak for the cause of truth and justice in our land, we write to challenge western theologians and church leaders who have voiced uncritical support for Israel and to call them to repent and change. Sadly, the actions and double standards of some Christian leaders have gravely hurt their Christian witness and have severely distorted their moral judgment with regards to the situation in our land.

We come alongside fellow Christians in condemning all attacks on civilians, especially defenseless families and children. Yet, we are disturbed by the silence of many church leaders and theologians when it is Palestinian civilians who are killed. We are also horrified by the refusal of some western Christians to condemn the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine, and, in some instances, their justification of and support for the occupation. Further, we are appalled by how some Christians have legitimized Israel’s ongoing indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, which have, so far, claimed the lives of more than 3,700 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and children. These attacks have resulted in the wholesale destruction of entire neighborhoods and the forced displacement of over one million Palestinians. The Israeli military has utilized tactics that target civilians such as the use of white phosphorus, the cutting off of water, fuel, and electricity, and the bombardment of schools, hospitals, and places of worship —including the heinous massacre at Al-Ahli Anglican-Baptist Hospital and the bombardment of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius which wiped out entire Palestinian Christian families.

Moreover, we categorically reject the myopic and distorted Christian responses that ignore the wider context and the root causes of this war: Israel’s systemic oppression of the Palestinians over the last 75 years since the Nakba, the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the oppressive and racist military occupation that constitutes the crime of apartheid. This is precisely the horrific context of oppression that many western Christian theologians and leaders have persistently ignored, and even worse, have occasionally legitimized using a wide range of Zionist theologies and interpretations. Moreover, Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza for the last 17 years has turned the 365-square-kilometer Strip into an open-air prison for more than two million Palestinians—70% of whom belong to families displaced during the Nakba—who are denied their basic human rights. The brutal and hopeless living conditions in Gaza under Israel’s iron fist have regrettably emboldened extreme voices of some Palestinian groups to resort to militancy and violence as a response to oppression and despair. Sadly, Palestinian non-violent resistance, which we remain wholeheartedly committed to, is met with rejection, with some western Christian leaders even prohibiting the discussion of Israeli apartheid as reported by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and B’Tselem, and as long asserted by both Palestinians and South Africans.

Time and again, we are reminded that western attitudes towards Palestine-Israel suffer from a glaring double standard that humanizes Israeli Jews while insisting on dehumanizing Palestinians and whitewashing their suffering. This is evident in general attitudes towards the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip that killed thousands of Palestinians, the apathy towards the murder of the Palestinian-American Christian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022, and the killing of more than 300 Palestinians including 38 children in the West Bank this year before this recent escalation.

It seems to us that this double standard reflects an entrenched colonial discourse that has weaponized the Bible to justify the ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples in the Americas, Oceania, and elsewhere, the slavery of Africans and the transatlantic slave trade, and decades of apartheid in South Africa. Colonial theologies are not passé; they continue in wide-ranging Zionist theologies and interpretations that have legitimized the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the vilification and dehumanization of Palestinians—Christians included—living under systemic settler-colonial apartheid. Further, we are aware of the western Christian legacy of Just War Theory that was used to justify dropping atomic bombs over innocent civilians in Japan during World War II, the destruction of Iraq and the decimation of its Christian population during the latest American war on Iraq, as well as the unwavering and uncritical support for Israel against the Palestinians in the name of moral-supremacy and “self-defense.” Regrettably, many western Christians across wide denominational and theological spectra adopt Zionist theologies and interpretations that justify war, making them complicit in Israel’s violence and oppression. Some are also complicit in the rise of the anti-Palestinian hate speech, which we are witnessing in numerous western countries and media outlets today.

Although many Christians in the West do not have a problem with the theological legitimization of war, the vast majority of Palestinian Christians do not condone violence—not even by the powerless and occupied. Instead, Palestinian Christians are fully committed to the way of Jesus in creative nonviolent resistance (Kairos Palestine, §4.2.3), which uses “the logic of love and draw[s] on all energies to make peace” (§4.2.5). Crucially, we reject all theologies and interpretations that legitimize the wars of the powerful. We strongly urge western Christians to come alongside us in this. We also remind ourselves and fellow Christians that God is the God of the downtrodden and the oppressed, and that Jesus rebuked the powerful and lifted up the marginalized. This is at the heart of God’s conception of justice. Therefore, we are deeply troubled by the failure of some western Christian leaders and theologians to acknowledge the biblical tradition of justice and mercy, as first proclaimed by Moses (Deut 10:18; 16:18–20; 32:4) and the prophets (Isa 1:17; 61:8; Mic 2:1–3, 6:8; Amos 5:10–24), and as exemplified and embodied in Christ (Matt 25:34–46; Luke 1:51–53; 4:16–21).

Finally, and we say it with a broken heart, we hold western church leaders and theologians who rally behind Israel’s wars accountable for their theological and political complicity in the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, which have been committed over the last 75 years. We call upon them to reexamine their positions and to change their direction, remembering that God “will judge the world in justice” (Acts 17:31). We also remind ourselves and our Palestinian people that our sumud (“steadfastness”) is anchored in our just cause and our historical rootedness in this land. As Palestinian Christians, we also continue to find our courage and consolation in the God who dwells with those of a contrite and humble spirit (Isa 57:15). We find courage in the solidarity we receive from the crucified Christ, and we find hope in the empty tomb. We are also encouraged and empowered by the costly solidarity and support of many churches and grassroots faith movements around the world, challenging the dominance of ideologies of power and supremacy. We refuse to give in, even when our siblings abandon us. We are steadfast in our hope, resilient in our witness, and continue to be committed to the Gospel of faith, hope, and love, in the face of tyranny and darkness. “In the absence of all hope, we cry out our cry of hope. We believe in God, good and just. We believe that God’s goodness will finally triumph over the evil of hate and of death that still persist in our land. We will see here ‘a new land’ and ‘a new human being’, capable of rising up in the spirit to love each one of his or her brothers and sisters” (Kairos Palestine, §10).


Your Kingdom come!


Signed Organizations and Institutions

Kairos Palestine

Christ at the Checkpoint

Bethlehem Bible College

Sabeel Ecumenical Center for Liberation Theology

Dar al-Kalima University

Al-Liqa Center for Religious, Heritage and Cultural Studies in the Holy Land

The East Jerusalem YMCA

The YWCA of Palestine

Arab Orthodox Society, Jerusalem

Arab Orthodox Club, Jerusalem

The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches

Arab Education Institute Pax Christi, Bethlehem


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Mona Pereth
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11 Dec 2023, 5:19 pm

Fares Abraham, a Palestinian-American evangelical Christian now living in Florida, has the following statement on his Levant Ministries website:

Quote:
STATEMENT ON THE HOLY LAND WAR

by Fares Abraham
October 16, 2023

I am a Palestinian-American Christian, born and raised in the Holy Land. And I am pro peace. My wife is a Gazan-American Christian, also born and raised in the Holy Land. And she is pro peace. Our loving families, still dwelling in the West Bank and Gaza, are pro peace. And millions of Palestinians living beside them are pro peace.

Words cannot describe the pain that has filled my soul in recent days. It has been heart-wrenching to see so much death and destruction sweeping across my beloved homeland. I can hardly endure my grief, while watching the never-ending cycle of violence, hate, and savagery that continues unabated against so many innocent people on all sides. The back-and-forth attacks, followed by retaliations, which in turn incite more attacks, that lead to additional assaults, prompting more violence, and now war… must stop. Precious lives are being obliterated on a scale so vast, and in ways so heinous, that it is too much to fully comprehend. I am, to say the least, broken of spirit.

The question we must ask ourselves in such dark times is this: where do we stand as followers of Jesus in the midst of such chaos? How do we align our emotions, attitudes, and actions with God’s perspective to view this turmoil through a Gospel-centered lens and to respond biblically to the horrors that are taking place. Hypothetically speaking, what would Jesus do today? Where would he go? Who would he visit right now?

With respect to those in Israel who were mercilessly killed, traumatised, wounded, and grief-stricken by the deplorable Hamas terrorist attacks, Jesus would no doubt show up to comfort them with his love and strength. I also believe he would mourn the loss of life of innocent Israeli civilians, while consoling the families of those who have been taken hostage.

As for those now suffering in Gaza, I believe without a doubt that Jesus, if he were today present in the region, would be going to Gaza. He would be pulling men, women, and children out from underneath the ruins of their decimated homes who were brutally killed for no reason. He would be helping the more than 2 million innocent civilians find safety, passage, and shelter. Jesus would be visiting the remaining Christians in Gaza who have taken refuge in churches to pray for protection and call upon God for deliverance from death.

This is the Jesus I know. This is the Jesus I follow. This is the Jesus I preach.

We as Christian Palestinians unequivocally condemn violence against all people on all sides. There is no doubt that Hamas does not represent the legitimate grievances of the people of Gaza, and they do not represent the genuine aspirations of Palestinians who desire to live in peace, dignity, and freedom. In the same way, the aggressive response of Israel’s military against innocent Gazans will never bring peace and stability. As followers of Jesus, we cannot allow pain, fear, terror – or even legitimate anger – to justify an untenable retaliation and collective punishment against both Palestinians and Israelis. That path will certainly lead only to more killing and destruction for all sides. War crimes cannot be justified by war crimes.

As Christians, we must unapologetically advocate for peace. We are to be Christ’s agents of healing and restoration to a broken world. We are commanded by Jesus to be peacemakers. We are called to reconcile all people together and to reconcile all people to God. This is what Jesus modeled and preached when he lived and ministered in the Holy Land. Remarkably, when Jesus received a death threat from Herod Antipas in Luke 13, he explicitly responded with a call to love and a call to serve others; he promoted God’s agenda above all else. Violence is not, and must never be, a defensible act to bring about peace and security. We are instructed to pray for all who are in authority and trust God to guide them to a righteous course of action. We must never seek nor promote vengeance because vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:19).

If we, as Christians, can respond biblically to what is now happening in the Middle East, I believe it will be yet another moment in time when Jesus’ followers will be able to turn the world upside down, or rather, right side up. Conditions 2000 years ago in that region were much the same as they are today. Religious institutions were largely inwardly focused, plagued by legalism and division, and religion and government worked together to silence any expression of the Gospel and its life-transforming power. And there existed a great deal of racial disharmony and prejudice. Yet, in that very environment, Jesus mobilized twelve young people into a movement that shook the earth through peace and love.

We mourn alongside countless innocent families on both sides. We grieve the loss of both Israeli children and Palestinian children. We must stand together, as the body of Christ, to not only oppose terrorism and destruction, but to also reject entrenched oppression and violence in all forms. May we commit ourselves to prayer against all acts of hate and plead that such evil deeds be thwarted. Let us be challenged today by the Psalmist to seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14). Please join me, and all peace-loving Palestinians, in praying for everyone caught in this ongoing tragedy, asking God to help them, interceding on their behalf, and giving thanks for them in Jesus’ Name.

I'm not Christian myself, but I hope he somehow manages to be heard by as many American evangelical Christians as possible.


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11 Dec 2023, 9:25 pm

Contrary to popular belief, many Arab Christians are actually very conservative, just like Arab Muslims. A lot of them are homophobic and anti-Israel just like the Muslims. I doubt you'd get away with wearing a bikini in a predominantly Maronite or Eastern Orthodox village in Lebanon. Arab Christians in the US, Canada, and Latin America tend to be more Westernized because they've gotten used to living in Western culture, especially if they came generations ago. Copts and Assyrians also tend to be quite conservative.

With names, it depends. Some Arab Christians do use Western names, while others use Arabic names. They generally avoid ultra-Muslim names like Muhammad and Aisha, but secular Arabic names such as Khalil and Amal are common among them (as well as among Muslims). There are also Arabic names specific to Christians like Boutros and Maroun (the latter being the name of a saint who started the Maronites).

Sirhan Sirhan was a Christian, although he is commonly mistaken for Muslim. His family was probably never Muslim. (Many Palestinian Christians have been Christian since the time of Jesus.)

Christianity in the Middle East is very, very far from American evangelical Christianity. They are ancient churches that preserve a lot of old customs no longer observed by Western Christians (such as fasting), and they are much closer to the Christianity of Jesus' time than any Western church. I actually feel like Eastern Christianity is probably the closest Christianity to the original Christianity.



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11 Dec 2023, 9:50 pm

NibiruMul wrote:
Contrary to popular belief, many Arab Christians are actually very conservative, just like Arab Muslims. A lot of them are homophobic and anti-Israel just like the Muslims. I doubt you'd get away with wearing a bikini in a predominantly Maronite or Eastern Orthodox village in Lebanon.

Probably true, but that's no excuse for slaughtering Palestinians. It would be nice if they could become more liberal, but first they need to survive, and to have peace and stability. If and whenever those things are assured, then more and more of their children will likely grow up questioning some of the old patriarchal values....

NibiruMul wrote:
Arab Christians in the US, Canada, and Latin America tend to be more Westernized because they've gotten used to living in Western culture, especially if they came generations ago. Copts and Assyrians also tend to be quite conservative.

[...]

Christianity in the Middle East is very, very far from American evangelical Christianity.

There are evangelical Christians in the Middle East as well as the more ancient, traditional kinds of Christians. Some Palestinians also have a fluid approach to Christianity, attending both traditional and evangelical churches, as documented in one of the articles I posted earlier in this thread.

NibiruMul wrote:
They are ancient churches that preserve a lot of old customs no longer observed by Western Christians (such as fasting), and they are much closer to the Christianity of Jesus' time than any Western church. I actually feel like Eastern Christianity is probably the closest Christianity to the original Christianity.

Indeed it probably is.

Most ancient of all are the Assyrian Christians, who traditionally speak Aramaic, the very language that Jesus spoke.

Aramaic-speaking Christians are probably the only Christians, other than Bible scholars, who can fully appreciate Jesus's sense of humor. (When the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are translated from ancient Greek back into Aramaic, you get a lot of Aramaic puns.)

In this thread I plan to post links to articles by and about all the major kinds of Palestinian Christians. But I will slightly emphasize the evangelicals because I think evangelicals are the ones with the best chances of being able to counteract Christian Zionism (which has always been, almost exclusively, an evangelical thing).


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 11 Dec 2023, 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RedDeathFlower13
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11 Dec 2023, 9:59 pm

Whiteys shoulda stuck with their "pagan" deities. :jester:



Mona Pereth
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11 Dec 2023, 10:12 pm

RedDeathFlower13 wrote:
Whiteys shoulda stuck with their "pagan" deities. :jester:

Perhaps so, but that's a topic for another thread. (Another relatively recent relevant thread here.)


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12 Dec 2023, 3:17 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Most ancient of all are the Assyrian Christians, who traditionally speak Aramaic, the very language that Jesus spoke.

Aramaic-speaking Christians are probably the only Christians, other than Bible scholars, who can fully appreciate Jesus's sense of humor. (When the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are translated from ancient Greek back into Aramaic, you get a lot of Aramaic puns.)

I should have said "Aramaen and Assyrian," not just "Assyrian," Also, alas, it seems they no longer speak Aramaic in everyday use, although some of them still speak Aramaic in their church liturgy.

I think it would be great if they could revive Jesus's own language as a spoken language.


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16 Dec 2023, 9:29 pm

Why Are Palestinian Christians Leaving Jesus’ Birthplace? [Pt. 1]


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