Behind the curtain

From CAMERA, an interesting peek behind the curtain of Palestinian society:

Contradictory Stories from Christ at the Checkpoint

What a difference two years can make!

At the 2012 Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, Munther Isaac, (who recently got his Ph.D. from Oxford Center for Mission Studies), told attendees that Palestinian Christians “have always enjoyed the support of the Palestinian leaders” and that they “worship with freedom and exercise [their] rights like all Palestinians.”

Isaac made this statement while introducing Salaam Fayyad, who was then serving as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Two years later, attendees heard a different story. The first night of the conference, Munir Kakish, the leader of the Council of Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land called on the Palestinian Authority to recognize Evangelical churches and accord them their civil rights. Here is what he said:

As a religious group, we are still unable to practice our basic civil rights to issue marriage certificates, register our church properties in the name of the church, or even open bank accounts to manage our churches’ financial affairs.

One of these statements cannot be true.

If Christians “worship with freedom” and “exercise rights like all Palestinians,” then why can’t Evangelical churches open bank accounts in Palestinian society?

I don’t doubt the veracity of the more recent statement. It doesn’t come as a surprise, though I remain baffled why there is not more fuss being made.

Assume, for the purposes of illustration, that a proper religious organization operating in Europe was unable to “…practice our basic civil rights to issue marriage certificates, register our church properties in the name of the church, or even open bank accounts to manage our churches’ financial affairs.” How long would that situation be tolerated?

And what if it were to happen in Israeli society? How long would that be tolerated before it were front page news – of the condemnation type?

But here we have a situation, apparently of long standing, enduring in Palestinian society to the detriment of its Christian population. And nobody cares.

The next time somebody decides they want to tackle prejudice and “have to start somewhere”, maybe they could try their luck with the Palestinians? The “Wall at Xmas” people should be ashamed.