Palestinian Christian speaks of threats to her family
Christy is a Christian Palestinian who is speaking out internationally on the threats being made against her family in Bethlehem.
first published 30/04/14
Christy, a Palestinian Christian
Now living in Britain, Christy, has been – at serious risk to herself and her family in Bethlehem – exposing the unreported actions of fellow Palestinians against their own people.
In spite of attempts to silence her by threats, discrimination and intimidation aimed at both herself and her family, she has very recently spoken out at a Swedish university in the city of Uppsala.
Since that time the Emmaus Group with which she works has been subject to "a considerable onslaught of accusations and criticism". Countering accusations that Christy was being exploited or coerced, a spokesperson for the group has affirmed:
"We appreciate the concerns expressed for her safety and wellbeing in the UK. To satisfy these concerns, she attended a British police station yesterday to confirm that she was not being coerced or used by anyone, that she speaks freely of her own will, and that such claims were politically motivated".
In terms of those who may have been "angered our shocked by Christy's talk" the Emmaus statement continued:
"For too long, violations of Palestinian human rights have taken place internally, unexposed, masked by the popular belief that Israel is the major perpetrator.
What the Uppsala talk proves, evidenced by the virulent campaign to silence Christy is that there is no freedom of speech in the Palestinian Territories. Her siblings avoid attending education establishments for fear of humiliation.
The family have been sworn at and disrespected by the community, and endure a constant stream of abusive phone calls. Crowds have gathered outside her house and tourist organisations in Bethlehem now boycott them."
The following video covers an encounter Christy had some time ago with the Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
who made public promises to her then.
In contrast to the negative responses to what Christy has been exposing, the Emmaus Group has also received strong support from others around the world; notably from Palestinians and other Arab national who cannot speak out because of fear of reprisals. Christy has said that for any Palestinian resident in the territories to expose the internal problems of discrimination and corruption would be extremely dangerous.
The Emmaus Group
was formed in in the Spring of 2012 and the first gathering took place in Bethlehem. While since faced with great challenges and many current threats the vision has held and the founders are trusting in God for what they believe He has given them to do.
Subsequent gatherings have taken place in British and European parliaments, churches, synagogues, universities and community groups in the UK and abroad.
The group's desire is to reconcile the church to her roots, protect those living in the Holy Land and defend truth in a world of lies and deception. This involves both exposing corruption and injustice, by pointing to the truth and encouraging people to seek first the kingdom of heaven and God's righteousness.