What a contrast? We see this week the TOTAL freedom for Christians in Israel. A religion whose adherents are growing in only one country in the world – ISRAEL. Do we see this reported in the world press? Of course not!!
In parallel, another country where exactly the opposite is the case – IRAQ also sees no reporting in the world press. And the United Nations remains silent
a) The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and the Norweigan Christian satellite channel Visjon Norge are presenting the 2008 Feast of Tabernacles, live from Jerusalem this week from Tuesday Oct. 14th to Thursday Oct. 16th between 7.40pm and 11pm Israel Time*
The broadcast will be carried on the network's new English speaking channel Vision Heaven and will feature the Feast's unique brand of world-class music, teaching and dance from the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. Tune in online to participate in this year's feast directly from your desktop.
* Note: If you are having trouble accessing the live webstream, go to www.visionheaven.com and click on the Web-TV link at the top left-hand side of the page. Evening Celebrations begin each night at 7.40pm (Israel/Central Europe); 6.40pm (UK); 1.40pm (ET)
The highlight of the Feast for most pilgrims will take place on Wednesday with the popular Jerusalem March through the streets of the city. This year's March is part of Israel's official 60th Anniversary celebrations and a large contingent of IDF units will also join the parade.The week-long festival runs through next Sunday, and organizers expect to top 8,000 pilgrims at this year's Feast - a new record for an event.
b) Meanwhile Canon Andrew White of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East in Iraq writes:- Things are now desperate for the Christians in Iraq. We had such high hopes that the situation was improving but now it is worse than ever. All of my relief and emergency money has gone and we have in no way been able to compensate people for the loss they have suffered. I have just finished a conversation with a person in our church. All of their relatives' money and possessions were taken and then their house was totally blown up. Seven of them are now homeless. The demands for help are coming every few minute and we have now run out of funds. People expect me to have solutions and I have none.The services today with both the US congregation and the Iraqis were simply wonderful.
In a press release Andrew writes:- It is with great sadness that we report the growing violence against Christians in Iraq's Northern region of Mosul which includes the dominant Christian area of Nineveh. Whilst violence against Christians has abated in Baghdad, the success of the "Surge" has resulted in terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda moving North.Although Christianity has been in this land since its beginning nearly 2000 years ago, the Christian faith is often associated with the West and thus Iraqi Christians are often wrongly seen as being in relationship with the Coalition forces. In the last few days many Christians have been killed in the Mosul/Nineveh region and several thousand have tried to flee to the Kurdish areas. The Iraqi Government has responded by dramatically increasing the Police presence in the area and we wait to see if this will have any effect on the reduction of violence in the area.In our own Anglican church in Baghdad many people today expressed their grave fear and concern about their relatives in the Nineveh area. Some have been killed and others have had their homes destroyed and all their possessions taken. We are in a very serious situation and the quiet of the past few weeks has now gone.