With Christians being violently targeted in Egypt amid the latest wave of unrest, Glenn Beck reminded radio listeners Wednesday that the situation is “horrific” for Christians across the Middle East, telling the moving story of a Palestinian friend of his whose church was recently set on fire.
Beck explained that Pastor Steven Khoury stepped in at the last minute to speak at his “Restoring Courage” event in Israel in 2011, after the Muslim who was scheduled to speak had to pull out because of death threats to his family.
“I’ll never forget meeting this guy, ” Beck said. “Such a remarkable hero.”
He described Khoury as a Palestinian Christian convert who when he was younger would “climb over fences” and “walk through the killing zone” just to check out the local church. After he converted to Christianity and became a pastor, Beck said, Khoury was beaten with metal chains and sticks by the families of young men he was trying to mentor.
More than a decade later, Khoury now has a thriving church in East Jerusalem with Holy Land Missions and one of the fastest-growing congregations in the area.
Beck said he received a note that Khoury’s church was set on fire on Sunday, and the congregation may soon be evicted because of threats to their moderate Muslim landlord.
“They burned the entrance and the trees and the playground area,” Beck said. “Meanwhile all of the residents, none of them said anything. Nobody did anything. They couldn’t call the police because that would’ve only made it worse, and the Israeli firefighters had to come in and put it out.”
“The Israeli firefighters,” Beck reiterated, “because the Muslim firefighters would not. The Palestinian firefighters stood and watched.”
Within the next 30 to 60 days, Beck said, the congregation might be “homeless” because “no one is willing to rent to the Christians.”
Beck recalled his own trip to East Jerusalem where, after word got out he was there, residents started throwing chairs and anything they could get their hands on at the building.
“It’s horrifying, what is going on,” Beck said. “And no one really wants to talk about it. What they do want to talk about — at least the people in power — is how much you can trust Al Jazeera, because they’re going to give you the real story.”
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