Launching an Arabic-language Fellowship in Madrid

[…] A dear friend and colleague who is a minister with the Assemblies of God was returning to Spain after an extended stay back in the States — fundraising, you know. He got a flat in the neighborhood next to ours, which is […] one of the main centers of Islamic presence in the city. We started weekly prayer walks. He joined a church in that neighborhood, and the pastor was excited about the idea of reaching Muslims with the gospel. Redeemer is in a great neighborhood for reaching young secular Spaniards, but not Muslims.

Sharon and I are both proficient in Arabic. I can teach and play guitar, she sings well. Why not give this a try? I asked. Dan had connections with local leaders as well as a ministry in the city center reaching Muslims, and my wife and I had the language skills. We prayed. Doors opened.

Read the rest over at Covenant, the blog of The Living Church.

Christianity and Freedom: Christian Palestinians in Israel Palestine

This video is from the Christianity & Freedom conference in Rome, held on December 13th and 14th. This section on Palestinian Christians begins at 27:00 with the contribution of my colleague Phil Sumpter, and then moves on to my own contribution at 40:30 and ending around 50:00.

The First Intifada and the rise of Islamism in the West Bank

“Moreover, long-term problems appeared which had to do with the position of Palestinian Christians in society, and which demanded concerted action on their part. A major problem was the appearance of religious tendencies in the course of the [First] Intifada. Islamicist movements tended to impose conservative standards especially on women’s dress and behavior in society. Another major problem was the emigration of the Christian minority discussed before.

From the Bethlehem Community Book (Bethlehem: Arab Education Institute, 1999), p 117

Many of the Christians (and Muslims) I have spoken with recently identify the First Intifada as the beginning of the rise of militant and intolerant Islam in the West Bank. Nice to find something like this in writing produced largely by Palestinians.

These insights are incorporated into the essay I co-authored with Phil Sumpter and which was recently presented in Rome.