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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Israel » Palestinian Church Forced Out of East Jerusalem

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By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

JERUSALEM (Worthy News)– Years of harassment by militant Muslims have forced a Palestinian church in East Jerusalem to leave their own building, according to Morning Star News.

The 110-member congregation of Calvary Baptist Church had moved out of the Shofat area of Jerusalem in July after Muslims threatened their landlord.

"It was very emotional because a lot of our people really started to grow there," said Pastor Steven Khoury. "Most of the growth happened in Shofat because of the persecution."

The persecution began immediately after the congregation moved into the predominantly Muslim area in 2007, but when the municipality posted a road sign with the name and location of his church, the harassment escalated, said Khoury.

For now, Shofat church rents a hall for a few hours twice a week; the congregation wanted to buy a multi-story building, but its cost was prohibitive because real estate in Jerusalem is at a premium, Khoury said.

"Because Jerusalem is the most sought-after city in the world by the three major religions in the world and land is so scarce, Jerusalem is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. We can't get a loan because we don't own anything in Israel. By faith we are asking the Lord to help us raise $3.5 million. We've been able to raise about $700,000 so far."

Khoury said that despite these challenges his congregation is determined to stay in Jerusalem and do what God has called them to.

"I believe in being persistent and I believe in holding your ground and standing strong. I believe in the message so strongly I am willing to risk my life. Our members are willing to risk their lives by continuously coming to the same location. I believe still that people will see that we are committed just like they are in their religion, and we are willing to die for our faith just as they are as well."

2 Comments on this post.

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  • wandakate
    2 September 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Being persistent and determined to persevere is a good asset to possess. The gospel is the main focus of Christianity. Reaching the lost with the positive message of the LORD is paramount for their eternal salvation. It's good that people have been raised up to show their faith. We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to reach out to the lost, the widows, the orphans in order to do the work that we're called to do. If I was physically able I would come and join with you, but I am not, so you are in my thoughts. Continue to do the work that the LORD has set you out to do and let that be your focus. Blessings with getting the money to do what you need to do. I feel though that we don't have too much longer left before things start to go down even more. But we are as scripture tells us in James saved by grace, BUT we will be judged by our works, so it does matter.

  • Cindy Schiller
    15 September 2014 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    May God Bless Pastor Khoury with a building so many may come to know God Almighty Maker of heaven and earth. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray for this to be so. amen

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