Michael Ireland : Oct 23, 2012 : Assist News Service
“My message to American Christians is stand up; just speak to be heard. A lot of times evil wins because good is not spoken . . . If only a few good people will stand up and say something, others will follow. I want to challenge Christians to be a good voice in the world.” -Pastor Steven Khoury
(Jerusalem, Israel)—A young Arab-Israeli Christian pastor, who has been beaten and stoned for his faith, is calling on American Christians to pray for a ‘Spiritual’ Arab Spring throughout the Middle East.
Steven Khoury was born in the city of Jerusalem and grew up in the city of Bethlehem, five minutes from the birthplace of Christ. On May 10, 1990, Khoury gave his life to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“I am glad, not for what I have done, but for what Christ has done for me on Calvary’s Cross. I am glad that Christ showed mercy to me and gave His life that I might be saved. Growing up on the Mission field for twenty years has not only taught me the life of a missionary, but also the struggles and battles of every Believer,” Khoury says on his website: www.holylandmissions.org
Khoury adds: “God has burdened my heart in a great way. He has shown me that Arabs can come to Salvation; I have witnessed that Jews are coming to the MESSIAH, and that many in Israel from all backgrounds are losing hope in life. Seeing people bleed every day, and seeing a person one day and gone the next because of violence and terrorism has made me appreciate life.” (Photo Courtesy: HolyLandMissions)
Holy Land Missions exists to preach the Gospel to the hurting nation of Israel and the Palestinian peoples, bringing worldwide awareness of the persecution of born again Christians living in the Holy Land today, “Building Hope in lives that lost it, Planting Love in hearts that forgot it, to build a better tomorrow.”
The organization’s current mission is building a multi-purpose Worship Center in Jerusalem.
Khoury pastors Calvary Jerusalem Church, as well as a church in Bethlehem, and four other sites in Israel.
Pastor Khoury attended Bible College in Springfield, MO, and received his Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Ministry and Bible, along with his official Ordination Certificate. He has served in ministry in both the States and Israel over the past 7 years. As an affiliate with the BBFI, and a member of the National Christian Foundation, he is the youngest locally-ordained Arab pastor in Israel and surrounding Arab countries.
Khoury has been published in several books and interviewed by CBN and ICEJ. He currently writes religious articles for Al-Quds, the largest Arabic newspaper in the Holy Land. His book is called, “In the Backyard of Jesus,” published by Living Sacrifice Book Company, in Bartlesville, OK.
Holy Land Missions has been reaching out to the lost in Israel for the past 30 years. Today, six locations around the country are actively preaching the Gospel to a hurting nation, including Calvary Church in Jerusalem and First Baptist in Bethlehem. The ministry says that throughout the entire country there are approximately 15,000 born again Arab-Israeli Christians who are daily persecuted by the two dominating religions in the area.
ASSIST News interviewed Khoury and asked how the Lord prepared him for his current ministry.
Said Khoury: “I saw the hand of God preparing me for ministry in a very unique way. I saw God change people’s lives through the message of my father’s preaching and teaching. I saw people walk into my father’s office, my father’s home sad and broken and just walk out with a big old smile on their face, and I looked at my dad and said ‘I want to do that. I want to make a difference. I want to put a smile on those faces.’ And of course that came at a price. That wasn’t easy. My father’s outspokenness about the being a bold Believer for Jesus came with a price, a big price, and that price has come through discrimination, it came through physical attacks, it came through persecution through most of our lives growing up in the Holy Land.”
In what ways does he see God at work in Bethlehem and Jerusalem?
“We are seeing an openness on the minds and the hearts of people in the Holy Land that we’ve never seen before. Openness to the Gospel, openness to Jesus, openness to even come to some of the things that we’re doing that before they would have never been interested in coming to or doing. The cause of the openness of the people’s hearts and minds was I think years of prayers, years of persistence—people like my father and others who stood strong in the land. I think boldness, our boldness and our love for Jesus, has attracted others to who we are and the message that we have.”
What is the message on his heart that he would like to share with American Christians?
“My message to American Christians is stand up, just speak to be heard. A lot of times evil wins because good is not spoken. I love the statement, I talk about the statement in my book, a lot of times evil wins because good is not spoken. If only a few good people will stand up and say something, others will follow. I want to challenge Christians to be a good voice in the world,” Khoury said.
“You know the Christians in America they are so passionate. I’ve traveled throughout America, through many denominations from traditional to Charismatic, American Christians are so passionate, but at the same time I think they’re so sheltered. There’s too much contentment. Complacency, that’s more the word. So my message or my challenge to the Christians in America is, there’s nothing wrong to be good-hearted people, but you have to step up to what’s around you. [What is around you] requires you to be a bolder Believer. . . [it forces] you to be a bolder Believer. If you’re not a bolder Believer, then your voice will never be heard.
Does he see a ‘spiritual Arab Spring’ coming?
“Yes. I’m always telling Christians in the West to pray for a stronger ‘spiritual spring’ to arise. That’s my message. Pray that a stronger spiritual spring would arise.”
Read the full interview by clicking on the link below.