Next Saturday, you are invited to take advantage of a rare opportunity to learn about life in the Holy Land ... from the perspective of an Arab Evangelical Christian.
Botrus Mansour is general director of Nazareth Baptist School (NBS), in Israel. As a believer in Jesus, Mr. Mansour says that he is part of a “minority within a minority—an Arab minority within a Jewish state, and a Christian minority within an Arab-Muslim majority. As an Evangelical myself, I am also a minority among Christians in Israel.”
In Israel, cultural and religious diversity takes on a real physical and geographical dimension. The different traditions of faith are rooted in different locations around the country and act as a reminder of this diversity, Mr. Mansour explains.
In a radius of just half a mile in Jerusalem, one can touch the sites of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial place and ascension to heaven; on the other hand, it is the the holiest place for the Jews, the ruins of the temple. It is also Islam’s third most holy site, the Dome of the Rock.
Despite the challenges that come with being a minority group, Christians in Israel are thriving in many ways, Mr. Mansour says.
“A tangible example for me is the 90 percent of students of the school that I lead continue their studies for higher education. Our school has also achieved the highest number of prizes among schools worldwide in the international contest ‘The First Step to the Nobel Prize in Physics.’”
He adds that followers of Christ in Israel serve in key positions in the country. “Despite our small numbers, we have influence that exceeds it,” Mr. Mansour says.
Pastor Joel C. Hunter, who met Mr. Mansour at a conference in Jerusalem in 2008, says that this visit to Northland provides us with “an historic opportunity to come alongside and support Arab believers in Israel.”
Born in 1965, Mr. Mansour holds an MBA from Haifa University and has worked as a lawyer in Nazareth for many years. He is a co-founder of the Local Baptist Church-Nazareth (the largest Evangelical church in Israel) and serves as an elder. Mr. Mansour is also a founding member of Nazareth Village and served on its board for several years.?He co-founded the Israel Education Forum, which brings together Messianic and Evangelical educational organizations in Israel, and serves as a member of its board.
Mr. Mansour serves as a member of the advisory committee for the leading Arabic-Evangelical website in Israel. He is a member of the advisory board for Musalaha (a reconciliation ministry) and is a member of the global council for a network of lawyers, judges and national leaders from all around the world called Advocates International, which emphasizes issues revolving around religious liberty, reconciliation and ethics.
Mr. Mansour joined the staff of NBS in 2003 as a part-time assistant to the general director, and then as general director as of 2004. He is a graduate of NBS, and his three children are currently students there. His wife, A’bir, is an educational counselor at NBS.
Hear Botrus Mansou on Saturday, May 1, following the evening service at 6:30 p.m. in Longwood. For more information, contact Barbara Olsen (email@example.com or 407-949-7183.
Bortus Monsour, general director of Nazareth Baptist School (NBS), in Israel.