Thursday, September 8, 2011

Palestinian Christian Remembers 9-11

Rev. Alex Awad, Global Ministries mission worker, reflects on hearing the news from New York ten years ago on the streets of Jerusalem. (Photo by Mike DuBose)
On September 11, 2001, my son and I were walking along one of the narrow streets of East Jerusalem when suddenly we began to hear voices coming from here and there. One voice said, "America is attacked!" Another said, “Take a look at the TV; New York is under attack!”  

Thanks to modern technology, people in shops in Jerusalem and in Bethlehem were watching the drama unfold in New York. Shopkeepers, customers, and tourists became glued to TV screens watching the savage attacks on the World Trade Center. When I entered one of the shops to see what the fuss was all about, my heart sunk and I felt sick at my stomach. I hurried home to watch the rest of the tragedy with my family. 

I was one of the many Palestinians who totally deplored the attacks. I knew from the outset that the majority of Palestinians who felt like me would be ignored by the media and the few Palestinians who celebrated the attacks would have prime-time coverage. In spite of the fact that not one of the attackers were Palestinians, Palestinians suffered much after the attacks.

Now, ten years after 9/11 and after America has carried out a decade of retribution on Afghanistan, Iraq, and radical Islamists around the world, it is good for Americans, and especially American evangelicals, to ask some hard questions and seek real answers—questions like, "Why did the attacks take place?"

Have evangelicals in the US followed the teachings of Christ in seeking and endorsing revenge on their enemies? What could evangelicals do today to bridge the gap between them and their Muslim neighbors? And how should we act in the next 10 years to shine with the light and love of Christ to the Muslim world? As evangelicals remember 9/11, I pray, God bless America and may America learn how to live at peace with the rest of the world!

Rev. Alex Awad is a Palestinian Christian who was born in Jerusalem and serves on behalf of Global Ministries as Dean and professor at Bethlehem Bible College and as pastor of the Jerusalem Baptist Church. To learn more about Rev. Awad, link to:  

To read Rev. Awad's reflections on the Arab uprisings and the Christian response, link to an earlier Global Ministries story at:

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