A Christian community prays for the return of the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt.Oron Shaul. (Credit: TPS)
Thousands of Christians around the world prayed on Sunday, September 23 in congregations, churches, communities, and organizations for the return of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt.Oron Shaul – the IDF soldiers killed and abducted by Hamas during a humanitarian ceasefire on August 1, 2014, in the midst of Operation Protective Edge.
The international initiative has been promoted by the Goldin family that sent a petition in August to several Christian churches and organizations from various denominations around the world asking them to join the initiative ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting set for Tuesday, September 25.
The prayer began in Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and India, continued to Israel, Africa, Europe and ended in the United States, Costa Rica and Brazil.
In Israel, prayers were held at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, in a church in the Christian village of Fassuta in the Galilee and in the Greek Orthodox Church in Capernaum – the biblical village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Also at the Christ Church in Jerusalem, close to Jaffa Gate in the Old City, Pastor David Pilgi led four prayers during the day in Hebrew and English in front of a sukkah that opened in the church.
According to Amit Barak, a consultant on relations between Israel and Christian world, the initiative was born out of the importance of the Christian world, as well as of the recognition that their influence in several countries is increasing
“Christians undoubtedly have an influence. Solidarity and human action have an important place in Christian theology, and the Christian world.” Barak told TPS.
“After the initial appeal was sent out we issued another appeal and every day [since] we have received requests from churches and other organizations who have continued to join, as well as requests from individual Christians,” he said.
Barak added that “Churches and organizations from Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Israel, Kenya, South Africa, Taiwan, Ghana, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Costa Rica, Brazil and more joined the pray as well as private individuals and families from Australia, New Zealand, France, Guatemala, Holland and other countries.”
A church in Houston, Texas (USA) dedicated two trees in a memorial to Goldin and Oron, and a Christian organization in Germany held the prayer throughout Sunday singing verses from the Psalms (in German).
“We even received pictures and videos from believers and churches who did not inform us in advance,“ Barak said.
The first to join the initiative, Pastor Becky Keenan of the Gulf Meadows Church in Houston, Texas, said: “There are certain human conventions that are universal. The return of the bodies of those who fell after an armed conflict is one such moral act. The families deserve to give a proper burial of their loved ones. To hold back their remains for political manipulation is very obscene. We strongly support the International Day of Prayer and encourage decision-makers to quickly return Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.”
Pastor Kent Lerher of the Deerfield Presbyterian Church, New Jersey, said: “We were happy to join the prayers for Oron and Hadar. It would be great joy and relief if the effort of this prayer would bring a solution to the heartbreaking situation of the families.”
Michael Dirks, chairman of Friends of Israel Christians in Northern Germany said: “We have to stand by Israel in full solidarity. In word and deed, and of course in prayer. That is why we call upon all of Israel’s friends in northern Germany to join forces in prayer on September 23.”
Carmielin Ashkar and Elias Zarina of the Brit Achim Association and the Jerusalem Initiative added: “As Israeli Christians who encourage the recruitment of Christians and their integration into Israeli society, we saw great importance in joining the initiative together with our Christian brothers and sisters from all over the world.”
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.