NAZARETH, Israel (BP) -- The International Mission Board has transferred the title of Nazareth Baptist School's facilities in Israel to the institution's nonprofit. Nazareth Baptist School, though started by then-Foreign Mission Board (now IMB) personnel, has been financially and administratively independent from IMB for nearly 30 years. NBS has established its own nonprofit separate from the IMB, with the transfer of the deed bringing the school into full local ownership.
BETHLEHEM, Israel (BP) -- Music pulses through Manger Square as Muslims and Christians chant in Arabic, counting down to the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. They reach wahad (one), and the lights flash to life. The crowd cheers and whistles as green, gold and red fireworks explode above the tree. It’s Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. The night is filled with choral performances and speeches. Dec. 24 is a festive occasion in Bethlehem for Christians and Muslims who celebrate a shared cultural heritage.
OBOCK, Djibouti (BP) -- Yemenis tend to be laid back, gentle and peaceful, says Shellby Voss,* a Christian worker in the Middle East. She noted many of them seem to pride themselves on Yemen being one of the few Arab countries that had a nonviolent Arab Spring. However, the Houthi rebels' takeover of much of the country has been disillusioning for many Yemenis.
NORTHERN IRAQ (BP) -- The northern Iraq crisis has created a unique opportunity for followers of Christ to meet the physical and spiritual needs of a desperate people. Iraqi security forces, assisted by U.S. airstrikes and Iranian Shiite militias, are advancing in their efforts to recapture the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, hometown of Saddam Hussein. Displaced residents are slowly returning to nearby towns that were overtaken by Islamic State last summer.
AMMAN, Jordan (BP) -- Syrian men, women and children, refugees impacted by the civil war that has raged for four years in their country, lined the cold stairwell leading to a registration room where Korean doctors waited to attend them. Some had come from miles away to receive medical care from the team, members of a South Korean Baptist church holding their first clinic in the Middle East.
LONDON (BP) -- The Syrian crisis reached a new milestone as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees counted more than 3 million officially registered refugees driven out by the conflict tearing the Middle Eastern country apart. As the crisis continues in its fourth year, Christian workers persevere in bringing spiritual and physical aid to the refugees and call on the church to keep praying and keep giving to these efforts.