9 filmed interviews with Palestinian Christian leaders you should know about

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Mission Studies & Intercultural Theology, World Christianity | 0 comments

“Hope is the power to keep focusing on the larger vision while taking the small, often undramatic, steps toward that future. Faith is facing the empire with open eyes that analyze what is happening while, at the same time, developing the ability to see beyond what humans see. Hope is living the reality and yet investing in a different one.” Rev. Prof. Dr. Mitri Raheb

In this post, I offer nine filmed interviews and presentations of Palestinian Christian leaders. Given the heartbreaking events of recent and more distant times, our hearts must break for the peoples of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Now, more than ever, we must listen deeply to Palestinian Christians and their pleas for peace, justice, and the end of hostilities and occupation. 

Here are the nine filmed interviews and presentations presented in this post:

Amal Nassar

Areej Masoud

Dr. Charlie Abou Saada

Dr. Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen

Rev. Dr. Jack Sara

Rev. Prof. Dr. Mitri Raheb

Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac

Bishop Emeritus Dr. Munib A. Younan

Sami B. Awad

Christianity compels us to embody love, peace, and justice, virtues Jesus lived by. Historically, Western Christians have overlooked Palestinian voices, favoring political and theological positions that have unintentionally abetted oppression. Palestinian Christians’ longing for a just peace mirrors the gospel’s core of reconciliation and love. This calls for critically examining any biblical interpretations fueling oppression and conflict.

The call for repentance urges us to live out Christ’s teachings actively, inspired by Palestinian Christians’ faith and non-violent resistance. Their embodiment of the Beatitudes challenges us to act humbly, elevate marginalized voices within our Christian fellowship, and embrace the cross of reconciliation. This means recognizing every person’s God-given dignity and opposing oppression.

True solidarity involves allowing Palestinian experiences to reshape our hearts and actions, ensuring our theology aligns with the gospel of peace, justice, and reconciliation. Genuine repentance means acknowledging where our perspectives have enabled oppression and injustice, committing to change, and advocating for justice as envisioned in Amos 5:24. In a spirit of attentiveness, humility, and repentance, we must stand with Palestinian Christians and Jewish peacemakers as they strive for a world where all live in peace, emulating the shalom and reconciliation of the kingdom of God.

Also, see these posts:

A Call to Repentance: An Open Letter from Palestinian Christians to Western Church Leaders and Theologians

“9 Christian Palestinian Theologians and Biblical Scholars You Should Know About” by Juliany Gonzalez Nieves

“18 Arab Female Theologians and Christian Leaders You Should Know About” by Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen

“7 Influential Palestinian Christian Women” by Amira Fahoud

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, Bethlehem

 

Nine filmed interviews and presentations of Palestinian Christian leaders

 

Amal Nassar

Amal Nassar is part of a Palestinian Christian family that preaches non-violence from a farm in the West Bank. They’ve been battling to hold on to this land they’ve owned for 100 years. Now surrounded by Israeli settlements, the family is a living example of the idea of peaceful resistance. Guided by a vision for building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians and moved by a dream for hope, understanding, reconciliation, dialogue, and peace, Amal Nassar and her family have transformed their West Bank farm into a center for peace-building, non-violent resistance, and Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, called the Tent of Nations.

For more than 20 years, they’ve welcomed Israeli students, rabbis, and peace activists, and a host of international guests and taught Palestinians and Jews about non-violence, forgiveness, and the power of love.

Full video

Abridged version

 

Areej Masoud

Areej Masoud is a Palestinian Christian with a passion for speaking up on behalf of her people and introducing the world to her reality. Areej is impassioned to speak up on behalf of her people and introduce the world to her reality, often hidden from mainstream media! The Palestinian reality is a situation where access to basic necessities such as healthcare, education, water, shelter, freedom of movement, and economic security is greatly restricted.

Areej is the Program Director and Lead Educator at Khayari / My Choice: Women’s Leadership & Economic Empowerment Initiative.

 

 

Dr. Charlie Abou Saada

Charlie Abou Saada holds a wide range of degrees in theology, philosophy, and music. He worships at the Melkite Catholic Church in Bethlehem, the West Bank.

Dr. Saada served as the Director of the Palestinian Children’s Club in Beit Sahour, teaching music, history, and theology at Bethlehem University. He also leads international conferences, acclaimed concerts, and spiritual pilgrimages in the Holy Land. Charlie Abou Saada is passionate about the vitality, health, and witness of Palestinian Christianity, and he lives with his wife and children in Bethlehem.

 

Dr. Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen

Dr. Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen is a Palestinian Christian, born and raised in Bethlehem. Grace holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Bethlehem Bible College and an M.A. in Theology from the London School of Theology. Her M.A. thesis sought to explore the ways in which women can seek to defend and promote personal dignity, particularly within strongly patriarchal contexts. She served as a lecturer (2011-2018) and Head of the Biblical Studies department (2014-2018) at Bethlehem Bible College where she has also contributed to teaching online (2019-2020).

Dr. Grace Zoughbi’s doctoral dissertation is titled “Arab Protestant Women in Theological Education: A Contribution to Ecclesial Understanding of Christianity in the Middle East.”. She is married to Rev. Michael Arteen. Together they are passionate about seeing God’s kingdom advance in the Middle East. In addition to Palestine, they have ministered in different capacities in the US, the UK, Europe, and Asia.

 

Rev. Dr. Jack Sara

Jack Sara is the President of Bethlehem Bible College in the West Bank. Born and raised in the Old City of Jerusalem, Jack Sara holds a doctorate in Missions and Cross-Cultural Studies from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Jack travels around the globe, teaching about Missions and Cross-Cultural work in the Middle East. He is a consultant for the World Evangelical Alliance for the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. Sara is an ordained minister with Evangelical Alliance Church in the Holy Land, where he still maintains an overseeing role with the leadership of the churches. He has also worked extensively in the areas of peace and reconciliation.

Full video

Abridged version

 

Rev. Prof. Dr. Mitri Raheb

Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, Dr. Raheb is the most widely published Palestinian theologian. Dr. Raheb is the author and editor of 40 books including: The Cross in Contexts: Suffering and Redemption in Palestine; Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes; I am a Palestinian Christian; Bethlehem Besieged. His books and numerous articles have been translated into eleven languages so far. Rev. Raheb served as the senior pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem from June 1987 to May 2017 and as the President of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land from 2011–2016. 

Dr. Raheb was elected in 2018 to the Palestinian National Council and the Palestinian Central Council. A social entrepreneur, Rev. Raheb has founded several NGOs, including the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW). He is a founding and board member of the National Library of Palestine and a founding member and author of Kairos Palestine.

 

Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac

Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac is the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, academic dean at Bethlehem Bible College, and the director of the Christ at the Checkpoint conferences. His latest book is The Other Side of the Wall: A Palestinian Christian Narrative of Lament and Hope.

 

Bishop Emeritus Dr. Munib A. Younan

Bishop Emeritus Dr. Munib Younan was the former President (2010–2017) of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), a global communion of Christian churches with 145 member churches in 79 countries representing more than 70 million Christians. He was the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Dr. Younan was educated in both Palestine and Finland and has been active in numerous faith organizations, such as the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC). Dr. Younan is an active member of various ecumenical and interfaith dialogue initiatives in Jerusalem that he helped found.

Dr. Younan was granted the 34th Niwano Peace Prize in 2017 for his extensive work in interfaith dialogue. He was also given the Bridge Builder Award from Georgetown University, USA. These are among the awards he has received. His prominent publications include: Witnessing for Peace: in Jerusalem and the World (2003) and Our Shared Witness: a Voice for Justice and Reconciliation (2012).

 

Sami B. Awad

Sami Awad is the Executive Director of Holy Land Trust. The Holy Land Trust fosters peace, justice, healing, and transformation in Palestine and Israel. Sami Awad holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the American University in Washington D.C. and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas.

“The Holy Land Trust’s passion is to see a lasting and just peace in the Holy Land grounded by honoring the dignity and rights of all peoples. We desire to realize a global peacemaking movement founded on the power of love and transformation, where all people live in justice, equality, respect, and peace. We believe in the sanctity of the Holy Land and desire to see it one day as a model of peace and justice throughout the world. We work towards this by engaging in the deep work of discovering, exposing, and resisting the foundational reasons for fear and conflict. This includes healing work, non-violent activism, and facilitating an environment of personal transformation.”

 

Socials to follow

Bethlehem Bible College

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference

Dar al-Kalima University

Tent of Nations

The Holy Land Trust

Other important posts

A Call to Repentance: An Open Letter from Palestinian Christians to Western Church Leaders and Theologians

“9 Christian Palestinian Theologians and Biblical Scholars You Should Know About” by Juliany Gonzalez Nieves

“18 Arab Female Theologians and Christian Leaders You Should Know About” by Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen

“7 Influential Palestinian Christian Women” by Amira Fahoud

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, Bethlehem

 

 

Graham Joseph Hill

Rev. Dr. Graham Joseph Hill serves as Mission Catalyst for New and Renewing Communities with the Uniting Church in Australia. Previously, he was the Principal of Stirling Theological College (Melbourne), the Vice-Principal of Morling Theological College (Sydney), and an Associate Professor at the University of Divinity, Australia. Graham is an ordained and accredited minister with the Baptist Churches of Australia. He has planted and pastored churches and been in ministry since 1988. Graham is the author or editor of 13 books. He also directs The Global Church ProjectGraham writes at grahamjosephhill.com

Graham's qualifications include: Honours Diploma of Ministry (SCD), Bachelor of Theology (SCD), Master of Theology (Notre Dame), and Doctor of Philosophy (Flinders).

See ORCID publication record: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6532-8248

 

© 2024. All rights reserved by Graham Joseph Hill. Copying and republishing this article on other Web sites, or in any other place, without written permission is prohibited.

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