In less than twelve months, 20,000 New Testaments were handed out to Palestinian believers. For many families, this Bible is the first one they have personally owned. A key church leader commented, “We should have done this 2,000 years ago.”
Nashat Filmon, Executive Director of the Palestinian Bible Society, is witnessing how the Bible unites Palestinian Christians. “The Word brings us together—Catholics, Evangelicals, Copts, and Orthodox; together we are the bride of Christ. My prayer is that we as Christians will be united and will be able to lead the way in a process of reconciliation in the Holy Land, in showing that there is hope and forgiveness. Our calling is to spread just a little bit of light. That is enough to cast out the darkness.”
Most Palestinian Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. Up until last year (2015), many churches didn’t have enough printed Bibles available to take home; making personal Bible reading virtually impossible.
Nashat shares how overwhelming the response to the Bible project was, “People are calling me daily. ‘I never dreamt that I would have my own bible,’ one man said.” Other Christians are reaching out to Nashat from Jordan, Qatar, and even the United States to thank his organisation for printing the Bibles.
Our hope is that there will be a strong spiritual impact from the Bible printing project, which is aimed at Palestinian Christians.
“This is a stream of Living Water flowing through the Orthodox Church. Revival is about to happen because the Word of God is available in a whole new way,” Nashat says.
A Christian who received one of the 20,000 bibles, had a great impact on Nashat.
“One morning we were visiting the Jenin area and I saw an old lady reading her new bible in the first sunlight, sitting in the entrance of her house. An hour later, when we returned, she still was there; she seemed not to have moved at all. And she was still reading in the Word, in broad daylight. She had been reading for a full hour.”
In his office in Jerusalem, Nashat tells about the Holy Land being the cradle of Christianity. Palestinian Christians are proud of this heritage, he explains.
“The Church was established in this very city at Pentecost and there have been Christians in the Holy Land ever since.”
Many Palestinian Christians have migrated the last few decades. The percentage of Christians has dropped from ten percent of the Palestinian population in 1920 to a little over one percent today.
Nevertheless, Nashat remains hopeful.
“Christianity is declining, yes. But Praise God, a little bit of salt is still enough to bring taste. It’s better to have a little bit of salt that works, than a lot that is tasteless. Pray for a reformation among Palestinian Christians and a fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit to go through the Church.”
Open Doors provides Bibles and Christian literature to more than 2 million persecuted Christians every year through local partners.
- Praise God that His children in this region are desperate to read His word, and thankful for their Bibles.
- Pray that God would speak to the recipients of the Bibles through His word and their knowledge and faith would grow.
- Pray for the church to be a light in this region and that many more people would come to trust in Jesus.
To find out more about Open Doors, visit www.opendoors.org.au