Baptist church in Bethlehem declared illegitimate by P.A.

A service at First Baptist church in Bethlehem

Last weekend, Palestinian Authority (P.A.) officials told the leadership of First Baptist church in Bethlehem, a city under P.A. control, that they don’t have the authority to function as a religious institution. Though the congregation can still gather to pray, this decision means that legal paperwork – birth, wedding, and death certificates – generated by the church won’t be recognized.

This isn’t the first time the church has been declared illegitimate, First Baptist head pastor Rev. Naim Khoury said, adding that he believes the church’s work toward unity between Jewish and Arab people has made them a target by the P.A.

The irony, Steven [assistant pastor at First Baptist] said, is that the PA’s announcement comes right after the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. This conference, which took place from March 5 through March 9, 2012 was a gathering of approximately 600 Evangelical Protestants from across the globe (mostly from the United States) to discuss the theology of Christian Zionism, which some Evangelicals believe increases the prospect of violence in the Middle East and gives support to Israeli policies that they do not like.

During the opening night of the conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad told the assembly that his government respected the rights of Christians. Palestinians celebrate religious holidays together, PA officials attend Christmas celebrations and even attend Midnight Mass for Christmas, Fayyad said.

“This is what it means to be a Palestinian,” Fayyad said, adding that the PA feels a deep sense of responsibility for the holy places and will allow unfettered access to places of spiritual significance in areas under its control.

Nevertheless, there is a sense among Christians in Bethlehem that anti-Christian animus has gotten worse in the city over the past few years, Khoury said. “People are always telling them, ‘Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam. It’s the true and right religion.’”

The Palestinian Authority saying one thing on an international stage and doing another thing to locals of other faiths? Forgive us if we aren’t surprised.


Author: Stand For Israel | March 13, 2012
Posted in:  Uncategorized


 

What do you think?

  • Art
    October 5, 2013
    1:16 pm
     

    I visited Pastor Khoury at FBC Bethlehem back in the early 1980′s and it was just really getting started and it is a blessing to me that the LORD has blessed His work there all these years. He is bringing light where there is darkness. And Pastor Stephen was just a little child in those days.He had already taught the little boy to raise his hands to “Praise the LORD”.
    If this message somehow is seen by Pastor Khoury, give him our love and admiration. He wont remember me I am sure. But I promised him some ceiling fans for the church that he must not have received as I do not see any fans in the church pictures.

    Reply to this comment »
  • bobby
    March 14, 2012
    6:40 pm
     

    here is what i read about the first baptist church in bethlehem, they will get threats from palestinians soon if they dont leave but i urge them to stand firm and beleive that god will protect them.keep backing up israel i hope the first baptist church there will support and love israel as the bible stated and warned us about it. if we bless israel we will be blessed but if we curse israel we will be cursed by god for it.i myself love israel and am reform jewish. and i support israel but i am now tired of voting for presidents cause none of them ever kept a promise except ronald reagan he was the best and honest only there ever was. all others no good even obama is worse he is hiding something he has a mask on him and i bet in 2012 he will do something we dont know about be on the watch for it soon, i look for the jesus coming to take all of us out of here before things worsens

    Reply to this comment »
  • Lauraleigh
    March 13, 2012
    6:53 pm
     

    Netanyahu is a Radical, Obama is a radical..Its time to vote for Ron Paul and bring our troops home.No one ever appreciated our help over there anyway.Ron Paul 2012.We are a Christian nation!

    Reply to this comment »
    • bobby
      March 14, 2012
      6:31 pm
       

      sorry netanyahu is not a radical you are wrong obama is yes he is hiding alot of things i dont even vote anymore cause, jesus never voted why should we.netanyahuhas studied the bible and he knows whats gonna happen in israel and he is not against the jews its the arabs they want all to think god gave arabs the land and that the land is thiers its a lie. god gave the land to the JEWS!!! arabs are trying to get help to help to help them steal the land and kill the jews to get it i urge all not to listen to arabs but to stand for jewish people and stand with israel and also show netanyahi suport to him so he can stand firm with israel

      Reply to this comment »
  • rick
    March 13, 2012
    6:18 pm
     

    God Bless all of you for standing firm. Jesus is the only way, so whether you’re a Jewish Christian, Baptist,Protestant,Catholic,whatever, the first thing you are is a Christian, everything else is…

    Reply to this comment »
    • Mary
      March 15, 2012
      1:55 pm
       

      Rick;I stand with you a 100%.The Bible says we are One in Christ and their is One faith,OneLord and one Baptism.This thing about baptist,catheolic,protestant or whatever we want to call ourself is mans ideaology.

      Reply to this comment »
  • donna
    March 13, 2012
    6:00 pm
     

    amen we are with u all the way from the usa

    Reply to this comment »
  • Chaplain De Ramus
    March 13, 2012
    4:16 pm
     

    As Christians, we see daily the attitude of those that think that if they “holler” enough, we will disappear, so they can live and do as they please.
    Illegitimacy does not mean unimportance.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Eileen
    March 13, 2012
    3:49 pm
     

    I think the 600 alledged Christian Evagelical pastors, that think and combine Islam and Christianity are being blinded by SATAN and are ushering in the great apostasy…including renowned U.S. pastor Rick Warren. The good thing is that it just brings us closer to Jesus’s second coming!!!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Chaplain De Ramus
      March 13, 2012
      4:04 pm
       

      Why did you say that they were alleged Christians?
      Are you and those who agree with you, if any, think you are the only true Christians in this world?

      Come back!!

      Reply to this comment »
    • donna
      March 13, 2012
      5:59 pm
       

      amen

      Reply to this comment »
    • Chuck
      March 13, 2012
      6:18 pm
       

      What has this to do with the story and, have you researched the “chrislom” stories yourself or just bought into whatever is floating on the web?

      Reply to this comment »
    • Reino
      March 14, 2012
      1:30 am
       

      Eileen. 600 Pastors with Rev.Naim Khoury don’t mix islam and christianity. They gathered to talk about Christian Zionism. Palestinian politics in the meetings are there as formal representatives of PA

      Reply to this comment »
  • Jim
    March 13, 2012
    3:31 pm
     

    Good for you, First Baptist! this, from a “First Baptist” church that stands behind Israel also, but from across the “big puddle”. Our prayers are with you.

    Reply to this comment »

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