“A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of the Palestinian suffering.”
Rev. Alex Awad, a Palestinian/Arab evangelical pastor, visited Hong Kong and Macau late last year, and gave a series of talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Bob Simon: Mr. Ambassador, I’ve been doing this a long time. And I’ve received lots of reactions from just about everyone I’ve done stories about. But I’ve never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn’t been broadcast yet.
Michael Oren: Well, there’s a first time for everything, Bob.
Above is an excerpt of the conversation between the host of 60 Minutes and the Israeli ambassador to the United States, from the 22-Apr instalment about the dwindling local Christian community in Palestine/Israel.
Governments’ manipulation and influence of the press is nothing new, but why would the Israeli government, an administration considered a friend by many Christians, regarded this programme as a “potential strategic terrorist attack”, and went out of its way to interfere with a show which aimed to expose the difficulties faced by the local Christians?
The conference Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 was successfully held in Bethlehem last month. I was delighted that some Messianic Jews and their supporters accepted the sincere invitation by the Palestinian Christians, their brothers and sisters in Christ, to participate in the event. These two parties traditionally hold two very different views on the theology of the Holy Land. This is not to say that their differences had been settled but, for a minimum, a dialogue had been started.
Besides, and perhaps more importantly, more and more Christians realize that there are God’s children on both sides of the wall and, to say the least, the difficult situations and problems a mere theology can create. The Christian faith, while being spiritual, doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and we should always strive to bring a positive and practical effect on the people and environment around us, not the other way around.
One can only hope and pray that it’s only the beginning, and us who claim to be followers of Christ will continue to work diligently for the ministry of reconciliation.