ISRAEL - Multi-Faith Coexistence

Arno Froese

Haifa’s leaders of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze faiths recently called for coexistence in the northern Israeli city amid the tensions sparked by the war in Gaza. 

At least 82 percent of Haifa’s population is Jewish, almost 14% are Christians and 4% are Muslims.

“The personal security of all of us depends on cooperation, our ability to minimize points of friction and inspire respectful discourse. We are all invested in the prosperity of our beloved Haifa and its residents, which stems out of a deep commitment to the State of Israel.”

The multi-faith committee was established with the cooperation from Haifa University’s Incubator for the Study of Religions, the Interior Ministry and the non-governmental organization Search for Common Ground.

“The meetings were very important because they generated commitment and loyalty,” said Rabbi Shmuel Sasson, one of the leaders involved in the project. “With cautious optimism, we hope to continue curbing the forces that oppose our existence as a society, and as a Jewish and democratic state.” 

-www.israel21c.org, 7 April 2024

Arno's Commentary

Wikipedia defines ecumenism: “Also called interdenominationalism […] the concept and principle that Christians who belong to different Christian denominations should work together to develop closer relationships among their churches and promote Christian unity. The adjective ecumenical is thus applied to any non-denominational initiative that encourages greater cooperation and union among Christian denominations and churches.”

Another organization is the World Council of Churches, established in October 1988 with representatives of 120 states (countries) and a combined membership of 581 million people.

Regarding religion: “The Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation, is an effort by Pew Research Center to understand religious change and its impact on societies around the world. It includes three main lines of research: a series of international surveys on religion in various regions; an ongoing demographic study of religion around the world; and an annual coding project that examines restrictions on religion in 198 countries and territories.”

Religious unity is to be commended; Romans 12:18 reads: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” That is one side of the coin; the other—compromise with the world—is a fatal mistake. Here verse 2 gives us the instruction: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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