• Pray for the Prince of Peace to bring about meaningful reconciliation between Jewish and Arab leaders.
• Pray for Christian leaders to boldly live out the gospel in spite of attack and betrayal .
• Pray for demonstrations of love and concern for Palestinian exiles.
West of Syria and Jordan lay some of the most contested and contentious lands on earth, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The West Bank, formerly Judea and Samaria, is landlocked between Israel and Jordan and contains the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea. The Gaza Strip, located between Egypt and Israel, borders the Mediterranean Sea and has historically been a prime location for trade. It contains the city of Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world. Since the formation of the Israeli state in 1948, Palestinian life has been dominated by the ensuing issues and conflicts. Many have emigrated due to the extremely poor living conditions and the instability of life. Sixty-one percent of all Palestinians live as exiles. With a global diaspora of 10 million, the population of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank numbers only 4 million.
Bethlehem, in the center of the West Bank and Jesus’ birthplace and area of public ministry, has transformed from more than 70% being Christian in the mid-20th century to less than 15%. Throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, military occupation and violent Islamist persecution have practically forced out the dwindling Christian minority, now down to less than 2%. Christians who remain feel largely abandoned and ignored by the global Church. Unemployment soars as high as 30%, and only 17% have access to the available water resources. In Gaza, 70% of people live in poverty. Eighty percent depend on external aid. After more than six decades of suffering, oppression, and displacement, a “cry of hope” has risen in the form of the Kairos Palestine document, a historic document of “faith and work” to build solidarity to make lasting change for all people.
The violence of extremism is rampant and has become a dangerous part of everyday life for many. Palestinian Christians, who trace their roots back to Pre-Islamic times, face pressures from both Islamists and Israelis, enduring constant persecution. Arab evangelicals face isolation and rejection from Arabs, Jews, and even many Christians worldwide. The loss of leadership to continuing emigration remains a hindrance in the growth and expansion of the Church. The hope for a true peace and a solution over the land often seems bleak. May God bring peace in the land, and may both Jew and Arab alike meet the Prince of Peace. Through Him alone will any meaningful reconciliation occur.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Arabic Christian Worship-Calvary Church; Elias Nawawieh
Capital City: Jerusalem (claimed) Ramallah (administrative capital)
Major People Groups: 92% Arab, 6% Jew, 2% Other
Religion: 86% Muslim, 9% Jewish, 2% Druze
GDP Per Capita: $2,900
Literacy Rate: 91.9%