New article: May Muslims in Israel-Palestine become Christians?

An article of mine was recently published in St Francis Magazine, Vol 10:1, April 2014. The title of the article is “Religious Freedom in Israel-Palestine: may Muslims become Christians, and do Christians have the freedom to welcome such converts?”

Here is the abstract:

This research represents a continuation and elaboration on Miller’s research for the Christianity and Freedom project, presented in Rome in December of 2013. This article seeks to understand the challenges and context of Christians who are also ex-Muslims in the Holy Land. Attention is paid to the difference between the contexts in the West Bank and Israel, and how the established Christian Churches sometimes safeguard their own precarious sense of security by turning away Muslims who seek to know more about the Christian faith and converts from Islam.

Download it at my page or from St Francis Magazine.

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.

Christians from a Muslim background in Israel-Palestine

In relation to the Christianity & Freedom material I just mentioned, I have also composed an article titled “Freedom of Religion in Israel-Palestine: may Muslims become Christians, and do Christians have the freedom to welcome such converts?” as an addendum or complement to the article I co-authored with Phil Sumpter.

This article addresses the issue of religious apostasy from Islam to Christianity as it takes place in the West Bank and Israel, each with its own context and challenges. Also of special interest is the topic of how Christians deal with the reality of Muslims seeking conversion and incorporation into the various churches in the Holy Land. Extensive field research in the Middle East, and in Israel-Palesitne specifically, went into this essay.

Down load the PDF here: Christians from a Muslim background in Israel-Palestine

An Obscure Document: Facts and Needs: Palestine Church Council

Sometimes you happen across a very rare document and are able to scan it (though the quality is not great, sorry) and share it with the world.

Here, for scholars Protestant mission in the Holy Land, is the rare Facts and Needs: Palestine Church Council (1925). It contains a summary of the CMS-PNCC ministries in the region. It is a treasure trove.


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.