I am sending an update about the situation and how it is affecting our churches.
This letter is not an attempt to explain all issues or take sides, but rather an update and a call to pray for us.
We are in the middle of yet another round of violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which comes this time after one year of lockdown because of COVID-19. It also came during a very unstable political situation in Israel (4 elections in 2 years) and the cancellation of elections in the Palestinian authority. Currently the Israeli Air force is bombing the Gaza strip and the Gaza strip controlled by militant group Hamas is firing rockets into Israel and there is lots of destruction and many lives have been lost. There is also a lot of unrest in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
What is happening inside Israel is very alarming. Arabs and Jews in Israel are projecting a lot of anger, through rioting and looting which have been going on for a week, and some of the worst sides of hatred have spread from both sides. Many innocent people have been attacked and beaten, and few people were killed. Businesses and homes were burnt down or vandalized and extremists are trying to terrorize innocent people who do not feel safe even inside their own homes.
The situation continues to be dangerous.
In addition to the loss in lives and in property, we are mostly concerned for the spread of hatred and the destroying of coexistence that was built with lots of hard work. After all this will stop, it will take years to build what was destroyed.
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Psalm 11:3
We weep with those who are weeping and empathize with all who are suffering. We have called our churches for a 3-day fasting and prayer for our country. We continue to pray as we call you to stand with us in prayer.
We have the following specific prayer requests:
- Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, including all its inhabitants and all surrounding areas – for both Israelis and Palestinians.
- Pray for leaders and all those in authority that they may pursue peace so we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
- Pray for healing of relationships between Jews and Arabs, especially for our young people who are exposed to this kind of hatred for the first time.
- Pray for protection for our churches, communities and for our families. Some churches had to cancel their services or hold them online because of fear. Pray especially for Haifa, Acre, Lod, Ramle, Jaffa, Cana of Galilee, Turaan.
- Pray for us to remember to turn our eyes to God, our refuge and strength, and to Jesus, the prince of peace.
- Pray for us to live our faith by loving our neighbors as ourselves and have faith to continue being a prophetic voice amid the chaos and light amid the darkness.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer.
- Association of Baptist Churches in Israel