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A Christian in Bethlehem

A church in Bethlehem

Sameer attends a Christian church in Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born. Today Bethlehem is in the West Bank, an area where most of the people are Muslims.

Sameer has difficulty moving around. For years he used homemade crutches until he finally got a wheelchair.

He grew up in a Christian family, but never really knew Jesus until he started going to the church in Bethlehem. After he gave his life to Jesus, his heart was filled with joy. But he also learned about the persecution that comes with following Christ.

One Wednesday night several years ago, during a time when angry Muslims were protesting against Israel, some radical Muslims interrupted an evening service at the church. The Muslims yelled at the Christians and threw rocks at them. One of the men hit Sameer. Some went to the church’s bookstore and tore pages out of the Christian books.

The attack was not the only time Muslims came to the church. “They did this many times,” said Sameer.

“I began dragging myself up to the second floor of the church near the bell tower so I could be a lookout,” Sameer continued. “I wanted to keep watch and alert the security guards on the first floor if trouble was on the way. We had walkie-talkies. I would stay up all night until 3 or 4 in the morning. It was exhausting…but I felt joyful. I felt like I was giving something to the Lord. I felt afraid, but when you have faith in the Lord, nothing shakes or scares you!”

(Source: In the Backyard of Jesus, by Steven N. Khoury, available at VOM Books. Edited from original source for clarity.)


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