Should Christians be neutral about Israel/Palestine?

By March 21, 2024

Israel (MNN) – Conversations about the conflict between Israel and Palestine are laden with political tensions. Violence has triggered debates and arguments across the globe. The only thing everyone can agree on is that they disagree.

The Church hasn’t avoided the discussion. Some Christians insist that taking one nation’s side over the other is the distinctly Christian perspective. Yet these perspectives often conflict.

And maybe taking sides is off the mark altogether.

SAT-7’s Rami al Halaseh says Christians should start by aligning their perspectives with God. “Our vision is making God’s love visible,” he says. “That’s our duty, and that’s why we are there. We want to make God’s love visible.”

Media covering the crisis is often polarizing, and it leads to distinctly un-Christlike hatred and disdain. The Christian position, al Halaseh argues, is one of humility, emphatic prayer, and biblical justice. “God is able to bring justice to all of the suffering,” al Halaseh says. “Our focus is to say ‘God is with you, Emmanuel,’ in the midst of the situation.”

The Church can still contribute to the conversation, al Halaseh says, but she should consider who she holds up to the world. “We give voice to the Church because we remind the Church of the power of prayer,” he says. “I would encourage everyone to speak up and say, ‘This has to stop.’ When we say ceasefire, we’re not saying necessarily that we’re standing with one party against the other […] we’re saying, ‘What would God do? What would Jesus do? What is God doing right now?’”

When God sees His beloved children doing violence to one another, His reaction is to weep. Al Halaseh suggests that perhaps, this should be our reaction too. After all, no political solution will prevent all harm between these groups, let alone account for the loss people in the region have already suffered.

Al Halaseh is not advocating neutrality. He says a Christian position of peace is in direct opposition to the world’s ways. “As Christians, if we watch what’s happening and we’re happy about it or just neutral about it, then there’s something wrong with our faith. Jesus says, ‘That’s not my spirit.’ The spirit of Jesus would weep and would bring us to our knees. That’s our role.”

So how do we pray? al Halaseh makes four suggestions:

  1. Pray for God’s mercy in the region
  2. Ask God to protect the ministries, churches, and Christians trapped within the region
  3. Pray that generosity would meet the humanitarian needs in the area
  4. Pray that the Gospel would infiltrate every home, heart, and mind in Israel, Palestine, and beyond.

Learn more about SAT-7’s work right here.



Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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