I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. ~Genesis 12:3
The past few news cycles have reported that God’s chosen people are increasingly coming under attack. The governments of the world, by and large, seem content to let the atrocities continue unabated; little is said and less is done.
I’m speaking of course of the persecuted Church. Christian men, women, and children—God’s chosen people—are being imprisoned, raped, tortured, and murdered throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa, and beyond. It is a form of genocide.
The reach of this silent tragedy is sweeping – a global religious genocide on “slow burn” with occasional conflagrations that make it into the mainstream media. There are an estimated 100 million persecuted Christians.
What is greatly disturbing to me is that I hear more American Christians passionately “standing with Israel” than standing with God’s chosen ones—followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To be sure, I don’t begrudge Israel the right to protect or defend itself. I afford this right to any nation. And at the same time, I don’t begrudge Palestinians their desire for statehood or self-government or what have you. (It’s a complex situation, it seems, and I’ll not attempt to unravel it here.)
Nevertheless, my heart goes out to beleaguered believers in Jesus—God’s chosen people—even to those who are largely ignored or forgotten in Gaza.
Western Christians fail to fully grasp the suffering of Palestinians, including its Christian population, Bethlehem Bible College professor and Palestinian Christian told The Christian Post on Monday. "The Christians in the west, most of them, they don't know the realities here. . . . In the United States and much of Europe people — they just don't understand the realities on the ground," he added.
"The Palestinian Christians in Gaza today, they suffer as much as the Palestinian Muslims in Gaza. They are under bombardment. They have only eight hours of electricity of every 24 hours. They have a hard time getting fresh water . . . the Christians are suffering, not only in the Gaza strip but also in the West Bank."
Issa Tarazi, the executive director of the Near East Council of Churches, recently told the National Catholic Register that the airstrikes on Gaza "are affecting all Christians and Muslims; Christians suffer the same as all the other people of Gaza, the same threats and the same stress.”
Perhaps you, dear reader, proudly stand up for the secular nation of Israel; but in so doing please do not negligently lay down on the suffering Israel of God—the Church of Jesus Christ.