|Pray for the peace and safety
of the people in Israel.
Photo: Flickr/Noam Chen for the
Israeli Ministry of Tourism
There is concern that a large number of Muslims residing in Palestinian territories and Israel have become "radicalized," creating deepening divisions between faith communities. Church leaders report that tensions between Muslims and Christians have risen since 2014, with some blaming the rise of Islamic State and extremist ideologies.
After being the target of recent attacks and inflammatory speeches, Palestinian Christians are now feeling unsafe. In February, those residing in Nazareth were alarmed by the appearance of a billboard ordering them not to spread their faith or talk about Jesus in a way that contradicts the Quran. In East Jerusalem, an imam at the Al-Aqsa Mosque posted an online video urging Muslims to be in a constant state of war against the "polytheist enemy," namely Christians, and also against Jews.
About one month ago, a mob attack took place in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem, following a row between a Christian and a Muslim. In addition, an Ethiopian monastery was spray-painted with anti-Christian messages. Local Muslim leaders have since apologized for the mob violence and are reportedly working to halt the spread of extremism.
Let us pray for God's peace and protection to reign over all the inhabitants of the Holy Land. May moderate Muslims unite with the targeted Christian members of their communities in the stand against extremism in its various forms, promoting religious tolerance and goodwill toward all humankind. Ask that the followers of Jesus be strengthened and encouraged as they continue to fulfill His call to be "salt" and "light" in our world, which includes the Holy Land.