Churches in Jerusalem supports PLO
The leading Christian churches in Jerusalem have shifted their position and now favor Palestinian sovereignty in the city, according to The New York Times. The past three months of violence have caused the churches to back Palestinian demands for sovereignty over Jerusalem's Old City and its Christian and Muslim holy sites, with the exception of the Jewish quarter and adjoining Western Wall plaza, which are expected to remain under Israeli control, the newspaper reported. Greek and Armenian Orthodox, Roman and Greek Catholics, Copts, Syriacs, Lutherans, and Anglicans all have called for Israeli withdrawal from territory occupied after the 1967 war. "Both peoples can then live peacefully side by side, each in their own sovereign state, without being a source of fear for the other," leaders of the major Jerusalem churches said in a joint statement. They defended recent Palestinian street protests and criticized Israel's use of military force. The Arab Christian community in Israel is small but influential. There are about 50,000 Christians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and another 120,000 within the boundaries of Israel, mostly in the northern Galilee region, the newspaper reported.
Commentary from Intercessors for America:
The Arab/Palestinian Christian community in Israel has been politically trapped between a "rock and a hard place" with the rise of Palestinian nationalism. We at IFA (Intercessors for America) spent time with, interviewed and prayed with a number of Arab pastors, members of churches and Arab Christian businessmen in private in the year 2000 and found that they felt as if they had no choice but to succumb to Palestinian nationalism, which is a pre-cursor and wedge to bring in a pan-Arab, pan-Islamic domination and eventual extinction of the state of Israel, the Jewish people and, except for all who "bow the knee to Allah" an eventual "death by the sword." Shop-owners shared how they have no option but to close their shops during "strikes" or else have them burned. Many Arab believers, wanting to spare their children and their own lives, have fled Israel and PA territories during the recent intifada uprisings, and have taken up exile in other countries. They are the new refugees who will probably never be permitted to return to their homes and holdings.
During another late-2000 time in Jerusalem, a liaison from the Mayor's office scratched his head and asked "Don't you Christians understand what is happening?" "Don't you realize that after we Jews might be displaced or destroyed, it will be you?" he asked. It does not appear that many in the overall Body of Christ are really aware that when Mr. Arafat's tongue "slipped" in recent weeks and he declared that he was speaking and acting for "15 million Arabs," he was revealing that the real "cause" behind this latest intifada is not Palestinian justice and statehood, it is nothing other than domination by the power of Islam. Sadly then, as Jerusalem's mainline church leaders have apparently succumbed to give "control" of their Christ-named, Christ-exalting holdings to the Palestinian Authority, they have effectively succumbed and permitted the "control" which spells their own "conquest" - a judgement for compromise, spiritual adultery and betrayal. But then, maybe Jesus is tired of the dead fought-over shrines, betrayal, candles, ritualistic incense-burning and lip-service in His "Holy Land", anyway, and will now bring forth authentic faith and dynamic Kingdom-of-God life void of all the religiosity, compromise and trappings.
Sadly, there was a growing prayer movement, working unity and wonderful cooperation in mercy ministry and pro-life efforts between followers of Christ in Israel who have studied the whole Bible and see and accept the appointed place of the Jewish people in the land - before these last two rounds of intifada violent uprisings. What is almost never reported is that it has not been uncommon for same "mainline" priests and ministers to not read, teach from, or even show their people the Old Testament, and especially the portions of scripture which would authenticate the Jewish people and affirm authentic faith and belief.
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