Date: April 10, 2017
Pastor calls on all Christians to Fast and Pray for the Persecuted
By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (ANS -- April 10, 2017) -- An Israeli Jew and an Arab Christian pastor are uniting to help victims of yesterday’s ISIS (Islamic State – IS) terror attack in which two Coptic Christian churches were bombed during Palm Sunday services.
David Nekrutman, the Executive Director for the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Jerusalem and Pastor Steven Khoury, President of Holy Land Missions, are partnering together to help the Christians who have been injured as well as the families who lost loved ones.
"Tonight, Jews around the world are celebrating our freedom from Egypt 3,500 years ago; it is our mandate to help those who are still suffering from Pharaoh like acts," Nekrutman said.
He added: "Passover is not only a holiday to celebrate on how we became a nation, it is the eternal critique of power used by humans to take away the image of G-d from a human being."
At least 47 people were killed and more than 100 injured in yesterday's Palm Sunday service attacks against the Coptic Christian community.
Just four months ago, prior to the Christmas holiday, the Coptic Christian community were victims of another bomb attack in Cairo. Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt's population and often suffer persecution by radical Islam.
Pastor Khoury is calling on the Christian community to fast and pray for the persecuted church in the Middle East.
"We are in the season of our Holy Week and as Christians we are called to live a life of sanctification and holiness, we cannot turn a blind eye to people who are suffering simply because they are Christians."
He added: "When my friend, David Nekrutman, an Orthodox Jew, called to express how he can help the Christian community in Egypt, I was extremely moved and we decided that both our faith communities should come together to help in the relief efforts."
CJCUC has established a fund to help the Christian victims of yesterday's radical attacks and Pastor Khoury is working closely with the churches in Egypt that were attacked to know exactly what the needs are for this community.
David Nekrutman is the weekly Bible commentator for FrontPage Jerusalem’s Bible on the Go segment as well as a blogger for both Charisma and Times of Israel, and currently serves as the Executive Director for The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (CJCUC) in Jerusalem, Israel.
In this capacity, Nekrutman is breaking new ground in leading the first ever Orthodox Jewish institution to dialogue with Christians on a religious and theological basis. He also launched the Day to Praise in 2015, creating a global movement of Christians joining Jews on Israel’s Independence Day to recite Psalms 113-118 (Hallel).
Prior to his work with CJCUC, Nekrutman served as the Director of Christian Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in New York. He was instrumental in the successful launching of The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, The Israel Experience, The Christian Jerusalem Day Banquet, and The Watchman on the Wall program with Reverend Robert Stearns of Eagles Wings, resulting in millions of Christians praying & supporting Israel and the Jewish people.
Prior to his calling in the field of Jewish-Christian relations, Nekrutman’s professional career ranged from working for the City Council of New York as a Legislative Analyst to e-marketing for a major high tech company in Israel. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, Nekrutman was accepted into Oral Roberts University’s Theology program, taking a Masters of Arts in Biblical Literature with a concentration in Judaic-Christian Studies. He thesis work is in the Hebraic Roots of the Holy Spirit. Nekrutman lives in Netanya with his wife and three sons.
Pastor Steven Khoury is an author, renowned speaker, TV personality and religious writer for the largest Arabic newspaper in the Holy Land (Al-Quds). He shepherds the largest Arab Evangelical church in Israel and the Palestinian territories. His transformation from a boy involved in the first intifada with Israel turned believer is a message for all to hear.
Preaching the message of Christianity to Arabs in the region has often put him in the most precarious situations, making his church a target of retaliation over the years. Even such, Pastor Steven Khoury has made it his mission to be on the forefront in reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.
His educational background is in ministry with a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Ministry and Basic Masters in Theology. He is an affiliate with the BBFI, a member of the National Christian Foundation, and a part of the Premiere Speakers Member.
To learn how you can help, please visit www.cjcuc.com/site/christian-
Media Contact: CJCUC Media Department, 516-882-3220
Photo captions:1) David Nekrutman. 2) CJUC Logo. 3) Pastor Steven Khoury. 4) Michael Ireland
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.