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Despite dire reports and media indifference, the Christian church in Israel and the areas of Palestine is growing among both Arab and Jewish communities. As this happens, Arabs and Jews are meeting, being reconciled, and working together. Meet Me at the Olive Tree tells sixteen stories of these new Christians and how they find both forgiveness and new hope in their faith. These stories reveal the powerful childhood indoctrination and great social pressure that encourages the enmity we see on the news each night. But they also reveal the reconciliation and peace that is possible through the cross. These stories will stretch your mind and thrill your heart, as you embrace all that God is doing through both Jewish believers and Arab/Palestinian Christians living in Israel and the wider Middle East.
The essays contained in this book provide an introduction to the history, challenges, and hopes of contemporary evangelical Arab Christians in Israel (and to a lesser degree in the West Bank). After opening with a general overview of Arab Christianity in the Holy Land, the following chapters treat different aspects of the evangelical Arab experience: the founding of the Convention of Evangelical Churches in Israel (CECI) as well as a theological seminary for the training of church workers (Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary [NETS]), the self-understanding of Arab Baptists in terms of their identity and relation to other groups in Israel, an Arab perspective on the relationship between Arab evangelicals and Messianic Jews, as well as the struggles, hopes, and fears of another "evangelical" community that is usually hidden from view, namely, that of Muslim converts to Christianity in Israel, the West Bank, and the Middle East in general. The final chapter offers a detailed bibliography on "Arabophone Christianity" in Israel and Palestine.
In the Holy Land, despite the politics and conflict that divide Jews and non-Jews, the Body of Christ is growing. Author Julia Fisher presents fourteen true stories from Jewish, Arab and Palestinian believers living in Israel and Palestinian areas that describe what God is doing despite the current tide of political and religious turmoil. Reconciliation is at the heart of each story, though reconciliation in the context of the Middle East is fraught with danger and seemingly impossible challenges. These interviews, demonstrate how, despite the tensions and the dreadful headlines, the Christian faith is growing. More and more Muslims are becoming Christians – stories of Palestinian Muslims becoming Christians and stories of Jewish people, some of them former orthodox Jews, becoming believers. Interviewees include expatriate Jews, children of Holocaust survivors, believers from Muslim backgrounds, a former drug addict, a pastor in Bethlehem, and an Egyptian setting up an underground church in Gaza. This will be enjoyed by those fascinated by the land of Israel, and the narrative of the Jewish people.
Ten years ago there were only a few hundred Jewish Christians in Israel. Today that figure is over 10,000 and the number is growing rapidly. Some of the leading Messianic believers are starting to look to the future and turn their attention to passages in the Bible that talk about the role of Israel in the future being a light to the world. A number of Jewish believers are emerging who are passionate, fearless evangelists. The stories told in this book feature some of those who are turning their attention to the Arab world in particular. Who are these people? How are they going about their 'mission' and why are they so passionate to share their faith in the God of Israel with Arabs?
"Welcome to the Faith Club. We're three mothers from three faiths—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—who got together to write a picture book for our children that would highlight the connections between our religions. But no sooner had we started talking about our beliefs and how to explain them to our children than our differences led to misunderstandings. Our project nearly fell apart." After September 11th, Ranya Idliby, an American Muslim of Palestinian descent, faced constant questions about Islam, God, and death from her children, the only Muslims in their classrooms. Inspired by a story about Muhammad, Ranya reached out to two other mothers—a Christian and a Jew—to try to understand and answer these questions for her children. After just a few meetings, however, it became clear that the women themselves needed an honest and open environment where they could admit—and discuss—their concerns, stereotypes, and misunderstandings about one another. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, Ranya, Suzanne, and Priscilla grew close enough to discover and explore what united them. The Faith Club is a memoir of spiritual reflections in three voices that will make readers feel as if they are eavesdropping on the authors' private conversations, provocative discussions, and often controversial opinions and conclusions. The authors wrestle with the issues of anti-Semitism, prejudice against Muslims, and preconceptions of Christians at a time when fundamentalists dominate the public face of Christianity. They write beautifully and affectingly of their families, their losses and grief, their fears and hopes for themselves and their loved ones. And as the authors reveal their deepest beliefs, readers watch the blossoming of a profound interfaith friendship and the birth of a new way of relating to others. In a final chapter, they provide detailed advice on how to start a faith club: the questions to ask, the books to read, and most important, the open-minded attitude to maintain in order to come through the experience with an enriched personal faith and understanding of others. Pioneering, timely, and deeply thoughtful, The Faith Club's caring message will resonate with people of all faiths.
In the Holy Land, despite the politics and conflict that divide Jews and non-Jews, the Body of Christ is growing. Author Julia Fisher presents fourteen true stories from Jewish, Arab and Palestinian believers living in Israel and Palestinian areas that describe what God is doing despite the current tide of political and religious turmoil. Reconciliation is at the heart of each story, though reconciliation in the context of the Middle East is fraught with danger and seemingly impossible challenges. These interviews, demonstrate how, despite the tensions and the dreadful headlines, the Christian faith is growing. More and more Muslims are becoming Christians – stories of Palestinian Muslims becoming Christians and stories of Jewish people, some of them former orthodox Jews, becoming believers. Interviewees include expatriate Jews, children of Holocaust survivors, believers from Muslim backgrounds, a former drug addict, a pastor in Bethlehem, and an Egyptian setting up an underground church in Gaza. This will be enjoyed by those fascinated by the land of Israel, and the narrative of the Jewish people.
A long-time friend and coworker of Brother Andrew shares stories of women in the persecuted church and highlights principles for enduring suffering of any kind.

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