Bright Stars of Bethlehem director to share unique perspective on the Bible March 31

Online Staff Report

BELVIDERE, Ill. — The Rev. Dr. Metri Raheb, director and co-founder of Bright Stars of Bethlehem, will be promoting his book, Faith in the Face of Empire, at Christ Lutheran Church, 425 Riverside Road, Belvidere, Ill., at 7 p.m., Monday, March 31.

In Faith in the Face of Empire, Raheb, a Palestinian Christian pastor, presents a new reading of the Bible from the perspective of the “people of Palestine.” He shows how the history of Palestine, ancient and modern, is one of diverse and unique contexts and yet recurring patterns. Using biblical narrative, he introduces a wide lens for viewing that history.

This sacred story is a response to the “secular” history of occupation by various empires, from the Babylonians to the British to the state of Israel. Throughout this history, the question of God remains crucial, Christian understanding remains relevant and a spiritual dimension of utmost importance.

Raheb spells out Jesus’ gospel in relation to the Roman empire of his time, and the biblical values relevant for the Middle East — then and now. This approach sheds a new light on the biblical texts within the context of imperial domination, and it introduces a new perspective and culture for a “New Middle East.”

Founded in 2003, Bright Stars of Bethlehem is a non-profit organization that promotes the many outreach ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem (that is in the occupied territory of Israel) that are serving the educational, medical, professional and spiritual development needs of people living in Palestine.

Today, Bright Stars of Bethlehem has an ever-increasing network of supporters in the U.S. Together, they impact the lives of more than 60,000 men, women and children in Palestine.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Twila Schock, (815) 885-2522.

Posted March 26, 2014

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