Arab church that backs Israel shuttered by Palestinian Authority

13 Mar

First Baptist Church in Bethlehem reportedly closed down, pastor’s son believe reason is family’s love for and support of Israel

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Ryan Jones – israeltoday

The First Baptist Church in Bethlehem was ordered closed by the Palestinian Authority on Saturday, according to Rabbi Russell Resnik of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations. Resnik reported the incident after meeting with Pastor Steven Khoury, the son of First Baptist’s head pastor, Naim Khoury.

“Steven told me that…a representative of the Palestinian authority showed up at his father’s church in Bethlehem and told him to shut the doors–they were closing down the church,” wrote Resnik.

The Palestinian officials reportedly did not specify why they were closing the church, but Steven, who pastors his own church in Jerusalem, told Resnik that it must be because of his family’s support for Israel.

Observers have noted with suspicion that the shuttering of First Baptist in Bethlehem came just one day after the Christ at the Checkpoint conference, which was organized and hosted by Bethlehem-based Christian leaders who do not support Israel’s restoration.

Messianic blog Rosh Pina Project noted that Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the same Palestinian Authority that shuttered First Baptist, had only days earlier attended and addressed Christ at the Checkpoint.


Tags: , , , , ,

One response to “Arab church that backs Israel shuttered by Palestinian Authority

  1. Rabbi Russ Resnik

    25. March 2012 at 06:08

    My statement that the Palestinian Authority told Pastor Naim Khoury “to shut the doors–they were closing down the church” in Bethlehem was not accurate. After a further conversation with Pastor Steven Khoury, I realize that the church was told that the Palestinian Authority no longer considers them legitimate and will no longer accept any paper work from them, such as baptismal or wedding certificates. Obviously, this appears to be a serious infringement of religious freedom, and remains a matter of grave concern. I apologize for creating confusion by my earlier statement that the church is being shut down. Thank you. Please keep my friend Steven Khoury and his father Pastor Naim Khoury, and their ministry among their fellow Palestinians, in your prayers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: