The Jerusalem suburb of Shuafat was this month the scene of some of the worst street violence the city has experienced in decades. And wouldn’t you know it, the situation exploded just 24 hours after the neighborhood’s only significant Christian presence was forced to leave.
The situation in Shuafat became violent two weeks ago after Jewish extremists kidnapped and murdered a young local Arab boy in retaliation for the earlier abduction and killing of three Israeli youths.
Arab youth in Shuafat and many other neighborhoods took to the streets in a spirit of vengeance.
This war-like scenario erupted less than a day after Calvary Church was forced to relocate from Shuafat, Pastor Steven Khoury told Israel Today. “It hasn’t been the same since then,” he added.
Calvary Church is the local congregation of Khoury’s Holy Land Missions, a ministry dedicated to bringing Palestinian Arabs to genuine faith in Yeshua.
We reported last year that in addition to facing regular arson attacks, Calvary Church was operating out of temporary facilities, and landlords were becoming increasingly hesitant to rent to these Christians.
Earlier this month, these pressures came to a head, and, as Khoury explains in the following video, his congregants had to remove everything from the premises and move elsewhere.
The timing couldn’t have been worse.
In the following video, Khoury is explaining the move and the sudden eruption of violence when he is approached by a young Arab who demands to know who he is. Khoury cautiously and compassionately feels the boy out, informing him that Khoury is a Christian and “comes with a message of forgiveness.”
The Arab youth is having none of it. “There is no forgiveness [for the Jews],” he insists.
It is clear that Shuafat, even more so than most places in this land, is in desperate need of a strong Christian presence. Khoury remains hopeful that his congregation will be able to return in the future.
Watch the video: