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ICC Note: As the Middle East is rapidly torn apart by sectarian conflict, one ministry seeks to empower and reconcile the relationships between Israelis and Palestinians. The Musalaha Reconciliation Ministry in Israel uses the basis of Christ as an example of loving your enemies and living peacefully with one another. It has brought Israelis and Palestinians together for over two decades now. A shining light in a world where differences lead to bloodshed and displacement.

07/06/2016 Israel (CrossMap): The history of the Middle East is a study in conflict, a chronicle of conquerors and pilgrims, of prophets and saviors.

Musalaha Reconciliation Ministry has brought Israelis and Palestinians together for over two decades, promoting reconciliation as demonstrated in the life and teaching of Jesus. Musalaha is a non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

According to the Musalaha website www.musalaha.org, “We advocate and facilitate reconciliation encounters among Palestinian and Israeli believers based on the life and teaching of Jesus. Just as Jesus himself reached out beyond his own ethnic community, we seek to impact our societies with his message of reconciliation through bridge building efforts between Muslims, Christians and Jews according to the common values and reconciliation principles contained in all three Abrahamic faiths.”

Musalaha says: “The realities of our current situation are complex religiously, socially, politically and spiritually, and still we greet one another with the word ‘peace.’ Is it possible for those Palestinians and Israelis who desire to remain true to their Palestinian or Israeli identity, history, and nationality, to also live as neighbors free of hostility, bitterness, and fear?”

These questions are part of the struggles that Israeli and Palestinian believers must also face. Reconciliation has become a central issue within the body of the Messiah here in the land, and believers are compelled to deal with it on many different levels.

Nineteen years ago, Musalaha (which means reconciliation in Arabic) was established by Salim J. Munayer when he acted upon his vision to see true peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Since then, an executive board of an equal number of Palestinian and Israeli community and church leaders has led this ministry of reconciliation in taking steps towards overcoming these huge obstacles.

“It is our belief that Christ’s death and resurrection are the foundation of reconciliation, and that forgiveness and healing can only come through following His example and obeying His word. We hope to emulate and teach Christ’s model of forgiveness, mercy, and love, breaking down the walls of enmity that so easily embitter and ensnare,” the website states.

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