Emmanuel Baptist hosts Palestinian Christians

Emmanuel Baptist hosts Palestinian Christians
April 14
00:00 2016
Photo by Timothy Ramsey
Dr. Mendez and the Palestinian delegates after the church service on Sunday, April 10



The civil unrest between Israel and the Palestinians has been well documented for well over a half a century. In an effort to shed light on the subject, Emmanuel Baptist Church located at 1075 Shalimar Dr. hosted a Palestinian Christian delegation from Bethlehem on Sunday, April 10.

Salamen W. Bisnara, a staff member of the Director of Education’s Office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), joined by Reem Jabar, a middle school math teacher and activist were visiting America to attend a TESOL (Teaching English to Speaker of Other Language) conference. While here they were invited to come to Emmanuel Baptist by church pastor Dr. John Mendez.

Mendez visited the Palestinian region of the Middle East in April 2015. According to Mendez, he was amazed at the devastation and horrific conditions some of the people were living in.  When he learned of the delegation’s visit, he reached out to them and they were more than happy to attend.

“When I went to the Holy Land, I was able to meet many people and was able to see the atrocious living conditions that are comparable to apartheid in South Africa,” Mendez said.  “We only see the situation through the eyes of Israel, and the American media doesn’t show what the people of Palestine are experiencing.”

Bisnara delivered the sermon during the service. He wanted to emphasize that the number of Palestinian Christians has rapidly dwindled to 2 percent due to the country’s internal conflict causing many to flee the region.  He also wanted the people to know that they aspire for peace and justice and paralleled their struggle at home with that of African-Americans during the Civil Rights era of the 50s and 60s. He also spoke on the occupation of Palestinian land from individuals from Israel and claimed the Palestinian Christians are “the Jews of the 21st century.”

“The most important three messages we want to convey to the world are from the Bible; and those messages are love, hope, and faith, and these three messages are the cornerstones of our lives as Christians,” said Bisnara.

According to Bisnara, there are Arab Christians that are being persecuted in his home land by Islamic fundamentalists, and they are working with their Muslim neighbors who he says “suffer with us and support us” to combat that. He went on to say Arab Christians want to show they have culture and tradition and want to identify with Christians all over the world.

The delegates will be visiting other churches on the East Coast, as well as meeting with individuals from Jewish Voice for Peace, who helped fund the delegation’s trip to the United States before departing for London.

When asked of his hope for the future, Bisnara said, “What is needed is the resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and stabilizing the country, enabling Christians to stay in their country and with their land and giving our children hope for the future.”

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors