Christians from Nazareth, many of them belonging to the same group that encourages young “Arab” Christians to join the Israeli army, have launched a new website and effort to draw tourism to their city.
The name of the movement is Deglei Habrith (Flags of the Covenant), and its logo features two intertwined flags bearing the Cross and the Star of David.
Among the group’s stated goals is the construction of a large statue of Jesus at Mount Precipice (think Rio de Janeiro), the site where Luke 4:29–30 records a mob attempting to shove Jesus off a cliff. Deglei Habrith director Capt. Bishara Shlayan emphasized that the group does not believe in the use of idols, but hopes the massive statue will “be a symbol of peace, cultivate the sense of pride of Christians in the country, and will be an international tourist place that will help the economy of Nazareth and the Holy Land.”
Unlike most Arabic speakers in the region, when Bishara and others of the movement speak of the Holy Land, they mean Israel.
Deglei Habrith also lists among its beliefs and goals the following:
- Israel is our country and we support it.
- The State of Israel is the state of the Covenant People, a democratic and egalitarian state that provides equal rights and opportunity, while requesting equal responsibility, without discrimination based on sex, race, religion, class or world view.
- We will work for the full integration of the local Christian community in Israel in all areas.
- We will provide support and guidance for Christians joining the Israeli army or choosing to do national service.
Deglei Habrith’s website can be found by clicking here.