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The Watchman: Israel A Safe Haven for Middle East Christians - March 3, 2015

On this week's edition of The Watchman, we sit down with Father Gabriel Naddaf, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Yafia, outside Nazareth, to discuss how Christians are thriving in Israel while being persecuted in the Muslim lands of the ... ... Read Transcript


Erick: AND WELCOME TO

THE WATCHMAN.

"WELL, WE TALK OFTEN ON"

THIS SHOW ABOUT THE

CONTINUING PERSECUTION OF

CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE

EAST.

"IT IS AN EPIDEMIC, FOLKS."

CHRISTIANS ARE LITERALLY

BEING LIQUIDATED FROM THE

VERY REGION WHERE THE

FAITH WAS BORN.

"WELL, TODAY WE'RE JOINED"

BY SOMEONE WHO IS ON THE

"FRONT LINES OF THE FIGHT,"

NOT ONLY TO PRESERVE

CHRISTIANITY IN THE MIDDLE

"EAST, BUT TO STAND UP FOR"

ISRAEL.

FATHER GABRIEL NADOFF IS

HEAD OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX

"CHURCH NEAR NAZARETH, AND"

HE IS A SPOKESPERSON FOR

THE ISRAELI CHRISTIAN

"RECRUITMENT FORUM, AN"

ORGANIZATION THAT HELPS

ARABIC-SPEAKING ISRAELI

CHRISTIANS JOIN THE ISRAEL

DEFENSE FORCES AND BE

FULLY INTEGRATED INTO THE

ISRAELI SOCIETY.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT

"THING, RIGHT?"

"WELL, NOT TO THE REGION'S"

JIHADISTS AND RADICALS.

THE FATHER REGULARLY FACES

DEATH THREATS FOR HIS BOLD

STAND FOR ISRAEL AND

MIDDLE EAST CHRISTIANS.

WE WERE BROUGHT TOGETHER

WITH THIS BRAVE MAN

"RECENTLY, AND I THINK"

YOU'RE GOING TO LIKE WHAT

HE HAS TO SAY.

TAKE A LOOK.

"FATHER NADOFF AND EMILY,"

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US

HERE AT CBN NEWS.

WELCOME TO THE UNITED

STATES.

"I'VE ADMIRED YOUR WORK,"

AND WE HERE AT CBN NEWS

HAVE ADMIRED YOUR WORK

FROM AFAR FOR A LONG TIME.

IT IS GREAT TO HAVE YOU IN

"STUDIO, REALLY FOR SUCH A"

TIME AS THIS.

WE SEE PERSECUTION OF

"CHRISTIANS, FATHER, AT"

UNHEARD OF LEVELS IN THE

MIDDLE EAST RIGHT NOW.

YOU'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF

IT.

YOU'RE IN NAZARETH.

TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE

SEEING WITH THE

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

"IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AND"

HAS THE RISE OF ISIS BEEN

A BIG FACTOR AND HOW BAD

THE PERSECUTION IS GETTING

FOR CHRISTIANS?

OKAY.

GOOD EVENING.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"GOOD EVENING, AND THANK"

YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE.

I AM HERE TO YELL THE YELL

FOR THOSE CHRISTIANS WHO

CANNOT YELL IN THE MIDDLE

EAST THAT ARE BEING

PERSECUTED AND MURDERED BY

EXTREMISTS IN THE MIDDLE

EAST.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

IN HOPES THAT THE WORDS

THAT I HAVE TO SAY WILL

"TOUCH THE HEARTS OF THOSE,"

THAT CAN HAVE AN INFLUENCE

TO THE LEADERS WHO DO HAVE

AN INFLUENCE OF WHAT CAN

HAPPEN WITH PEACE

PROCESSES OR THE

SITUATIONS IN THE MIDDLE

EAST.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

HE IS SORRY TO SAY THAT IT

IS TRUE THAT THE MIDDLE

EAST IS ABSOLVING ITSELF

OF THE CHRISTIAN

POPULATION THAT HAS BEEN

IN THE LAND FOR THOUSANDS

OF YEARS.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND THAT THE DEMOCRACIES

AND THE WESTERN POWERS ARE

NOT DOING ENOUGH TO REALLY

STOP WHAT'S GOING ON

AGAINST CHRISTIANS AND

MINORITIES IN THE MIDDLE

EAST.

" Erick: FATHER, HOW"

DID THINGS USED TO BE WITH

CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE

EAST?

THINGS ARE SO BAD RIGHT

"NOW, AND THE CHRISTIAN"

POPULATION HAS DECREASED

IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

"IT WASN'T LIKE THAT, EVEN,"

"WHAT, IN THE 1980s,"

MAYBE THE EARLY 1990s.

IT SEEMS LIKE THINGS HAVE

GOTTEN A LOT WORST IN THE

PAST FEW YEARS.

IS THAT TRUE?

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

HE CAN GIVE YOU A PRIME

"EXAMPLE, THAT IN THE YEAR"

"2000 IN IRAQ, THERE WERE"

APPROXIMATELY FOUR MILLION

"CHRISTIANS, AND TODAY IT"

STANDS ON APPROXIMATELY

"300,000.00"

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"IN SYRIA, THERE WERE TWO"

"MILLION, AND RECENTLY THE"

"ESTIMATE IS AT 250,000"

CHRISTIANS.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"AND CLOSER TO HOME, IN"

"BETHLEHEM, UNDER THE"

"PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY,"

CHRISTIANS ARE ONLY 2% OF

THE CITY.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"MY QUESTION IS, WHERE ARE"

THE CHRISTIANS?

WHERE ARE THEY GOING?

WHY ARE THEY RUNNING?

AND WHERE HAVE THEY RUN

TO?

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

HE SAYS HE FEELS IF YOU

"LOOK BACK IN HISTORY,"

CHRISTIANS HAVE HAD BAD

"TIMES, TIMES OF"

"PERSECUTION, AND THEY'VE"

HAD GOOD TIMES.

IT SEEMS TO BE UP TO THE

POLITICAL INTEREST AT THE

TIME.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

BUT WHAT WE FIND OURSELVES

IN NOW IS A DANGEROUS

SITUATION FOR THE ENTIRE

MIDDLE EAST.

AND THE TERROR IN THE

REGION RISES ON A DAILY

BASIS.

" Erick: FATHER, I"

THINK IT IS STUNNING TO

SEE HOW THE POPULATION IN

BETHLEHEM HAS CHANGED.

"AS YOU SAID, 2% -- THAT"

WAS A MUCH DIFFERENT

"STORY, REALLY, BEFORE"

"1995, AND LEBANON AS WELL"

HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED THE

DEMOGRAPHICS.

CHRISTIANS ARE A MINORITY

NOW.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Through Translator:

IT'S A WAR OF RELIGION.

Erick: AND THAT'S THE

ISLAMIC JIHADISTS AND

ISLAMISTS HAVE BASICALLY

DECLARED WAR ON FOLLOWERS

OF JESUS?

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"YOU KNOW, AND ALL OF THE"

"VIEWERS KNOW, CHRISTIANITY"

"IS A LOVE OF LOVE,"

"FORGIVENESS, AND PEACE."

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

SINCE THE BEGINNING OF

"CHRISTIANITY, THE"

CHRISTIANS HAVE ALWAYS

TAUGHT AND PREACHED OF

LOVE AND APPRECIATION.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND THAT IT IS EXTREMELY

PAINFUL THAT YOU GIVE ON

"ONE SIDE LOVE, AND WHAT"

YOU GET BACK IS A KNIFE.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND EVEN HARDER WHEN THE

MESSIAH SAYS TO LOVE YOUR

ENEMIES.

HE KNEW THAT WE WOULD HAVE

ENEMIES.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND THEY WOULD NOT WANT

ANY PART IN THE MESSAGE

THAT WE HAVE FOR THE

WORLD.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

BUT HE IS LEARNING THAT IF

"YOU GIVE LOVE, IT DOESN'T"

MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO LET

THEM KILL YOU.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

THAT YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE

AND THE OTHER BELIEVES IN

DEATH.

Erick: HOW IS ISRAEL

DIFFERENT FOR CHRISTIANS?

"THE SITUATION IN ISRAEL,"

"IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN,"

"FATHER, THE CHRISTIAN"

"POPULATION IN ISRAEL,"

WHILE IT IS DECREASING IN

"THE MUSLIM LANDS, THE"

CHRISTIAN POPULATION IN

ISRAEL IS ACTUALLY

"INCREASING, WHICH IS"

PRETTY AMAZING.

TALK ABOUT LIFE FOR

CHRISTIANS IN ISRAEL.

A GOOD QUESTION.

THANK YOU.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

IN THE 1970s AND '80s

"IN ISRAEL, THE AMOUNT OF"

CHRISTIANS IN ISRAEL WAS

"57,000.00"

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

TODAY THE NUMBER IS

"160,000.00"

THAT MEANS IT IS

INCREASING.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

EVEN THOUGH THE CHRISTIANS

DON'T HAVE SO MANY

CHILDREN.

[LAUGHTER]

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

THE CHRISTIANS IN ISRAEL

HAVE FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

THEY LIVE IN DEMOCRACY AND

THEY'RE SAFE.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

THEY STUDY IN

UNIVERSITIES.

WE HAVE ECONOMIC

PROSPERITY.

THEY ENJOY ALL OF THE

FIELDS OF LIFE IN A

DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"HE SAYS, I WANT TO SAY TO"

YOU THAT THE ONLY SAFE

PLACE LEFT IN THE MIDDLE

EAST FOR CHRISTIANS IS

ISRAEL.

"IN ISRAEL, WE'RE NOT"

PERSECUTED.

AND GIRLS AREN'T RAPED.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND THEY DON'T BURN OUR

CHURCHES.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator: I

BELIEVE THE WORLD NEEDS TO

LOOK AT THESE FACTS AND

LOOK AT THEM CLOSELY SO

THAT THEY CAN ALSO SEE AND

GUIDE THEMSELVES ON WHICH

DECISIONS THEY SHOULD

"MAKE, AND SUPPORT ISRAEL,"

AND NOT WEAKEN IT.

IF THEY DECIDE TO WEAKEN

"IT, THEY ARE GIVING A"

DEATH SENTENCE TO THE

CHRISTIANS LEFT IN THE

MIDDLE EAST.

" Erick: FATHER, THAT'S"

WHY I THINK IT IS SO GOOD

YOU SPOKE ABOUT THIS IN

FRONT OF THE UNITED

NATIONS.

THAT IS AN ORGANIZATION

THAT NEEDED TO HEAR YOUR

MESSAGE.

WE'RE COMING BACK WITH

MUCH MORE WITH FATHER

NADOFF AND EMILY AFTER THE

BREAK.

YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS IT.

STICK AROUND.

Eric: AND WELCOME

BACK.

WE'RE HONORED TO BE JOINED

TODAY BY FATHER GABRIELLE

"NADOFF, COMING FROM US"

FROM ISRAEL.

AND EMILY IS AN

"INTERPRETER, TRANSLATOR,"

AND THEY MAKE A GREAT

TEAM.

IT IS GREAT TO HAVE YOU.

"FATHER, BEFORE THE BREAK,"

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE

SITUATION IN ISRAEL FOR

CHRISTIANS.

"YOU HAVE EVANGELICALS,"

"CATHOLICS, ORTHODOX, AND"

ALL BRANCHES OF

CHRISTIANITY ARE WELCOME

OR FREE IN ISRAEL.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO

TAKE A STAND AND START

SPEAKING OUT.

YOU'RE VERY BOLD AND

YOU'RE TELLING THE TRUTH.

AND IT'S NOT POPULAR IN

"YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD,"

"PROBABLY, BUT YOU'RE"

SPEAKING OUT AND

ENCOURAGING YOUNG ARABS TO

FULLY INTEGRATE INTO

"ISRAELI SOCIETY, INCLUDING"

"THE MILITARY, THE I.D.F."

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO

"TAKE THIS STAND, TO SPEAK"

OUT?

WHY NOW?

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

I'VE ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT

THE PATH TO LEADING A GOOD

LIFE IS THE INTEGRATION OF

ALL OF THE CITIZENS

TOGETHER.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"IT'S VERY DIFFICULT, AND"

"PRACTICALLY ABSURD, FOR"

CITIZENS TO LIVE TOGETHER

IN ONE COUNTRY AND

"CONSTANTLY FIGHT, AND NOT"

WORK TOGETHER TO DEVELOP

IT AND SAVE IT.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

WHAT BROUGHT ME PERSONALLY

TO START SPEAKING OPENLY

"ABOUT THE SITUATION, IN MY"

"OPINION, WAS THE RECENT"

ARAB SPRING AND THE MIDDLE

EAST.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator: I

FELT LIKE IF THIS WASN'T

"THE RIGHT TIME TO DO IT,"

THEN WHEN WOULD BE?

I SEE THE TERROR INCHING

CLOSER TO ISRAEL.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND I SEE THAT ISRAEL

"STANDS ON THE FRONT LINES,"

OPPOSING THE TERROR.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

THIS APPROACHING TERROR IS

A THREAT TO OUR LIVES AND

CAN THREATEN OUR ACTUAL

EXISTENCE.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

TERROR IS NOT A GAME.

IT IS A DANGER TO YOUR

LIFE.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

SO I CALLED OUT TO THE

CHRISTIANS THAT LIVE IN

"ISRAEL TO GO TO THE ARMY,"

JUST LIKE EVERY CHRISTIAN

IN EVERY OTHER COUNTRY

"WOULD GO TO THE ARMY, IF"

IN NEED.

AND THE SAME GOES FOR THE

ISRAELI CHRISTIAN

POPULATION DEFENDING THE

STATE OF ISRAEL.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

JUST LIKE THE OTHER

"MINORITIES IN ISRAEL, LIKE"

"THE DREWS AND THE BEDWI,"

WHO HAVE ALL GONE TO THE

MILITARY AND INTEGRATED AS

WELL.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"AND HE IS EXTREMELY HAPPY,"

DESPITE THE MINOR PEOPLE

IN ISRAEL WHO HAD ISSUES

WITH HIS ACTIONS AND

DIDN'T REALLY AGREE WITH

HIM.

HE IS HAPPY TO SAY THAT

THERE HAS BEEN A HUGE

INCREASE IN THE

RECRUITMENT OF CHRISTIAN

ARABS -- CHRISTIAN

ISRAELIS TO THE ARMY.

IF IT WAS ABOUT 30 TO 35

PER YEAR BEFORE HE BEGAN

HIS MOVEMENT.

AND NOW IT IS AROUND 150

IN 2013.

Erick: WOW.

Through Translator:

NOT TO JUST GO TO THE ARMY

TO BE ABLE TO HOLD A

WEAPON.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

WE'RE NOT SENDING OUR BOYS

TO KILL.

BUT TO DEFEND.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND HE SAYS THAT THE

CHRISTIANS IN ISRAEL ARE

SLOWLY STARTING TO

UNDERSTAND THAT THEY LIVED

FOR YEARS UNDER A MYTH OF

THE ISLAMIC RULERS IN THE

"AREA, AND THAT THEY WERE"

"USED IN A CONFLICT, THAT"

THE PALESTINIAN MUSLIMS

WERE HAVING WITH ISRAEL.

Erick: WE NEED TO

KEEP IT RIGHT THERE.

WE'LL COME BACK RIGHT

AFTER THE COMMERCIAL.

I DON'T MEAN TO CUT YOU

OFF.

MORE AFTER THE BREAK WITH

FATHER NADOFF AND WITH

EMILY.

STAY TUNED.

MUCH MORE TO COME.

STICK AROUND.

Erick: WELCOME BACK.

WE'RE TALKING TO FATHER

"GABRIEL NADOFF, AND EMILY,"

"FROM ""THE FACE OF ISRAEL,"""

AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

THE SITUATION FOR

CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE

"EAST, AND HOW THE"

SITUATION FOR CHRISTIANS

"IN ISRAEL IS VERY, VERY"

DIFFERENT THAN WHERE WHAT

IS GOING ON IN THE

COUNTRIES AROUND THEM.

"FATHER, TELL US A LITTLE"

BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.

YOU WERE BORN AND RAISED

"IN NAZARETH, FROM MY"

UNDERSTANDING.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR

UPBRINGING AND HOW YOU

"BECAME SUCH A BOLD VOICE,"

"ON THE WORLD STAGE NOW,"

FOR ISRAEL AND FOR

CHRISTIANS IN ISRAEL.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator: I

WAS BORN IN NAZARETH.

"I GREW UP IN NAZARETH, THE"

BLESSED CITY.

THERE IS THE ANGEL

"GABRIEL, BLESSED MARY, AND"

WHERE THE MESSIAH GREW UP.

I TOOK THE NAME OF THAT

"ANGEL, THE ANGEL GABRIEL."

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator: I

FEEL THAT MY POSITION AND

MY JOURNEY IN LIFE IS

DESTINED FROM GOD.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator: I

HAVE STUDIED THE HOLY

"SCRIPTURES, AND I HAVE"

"LEARNED THE THEOLOGY, AND"

I HAVE A DUTY AND A DEMAND

FROM GOD TO SPEAK THE

TRUTH.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"JUST LIKE OUR LORD, THE"

"MESSIAH, WHOM, HIMSELF,"

GAVE HIS LIFE IN HONOR OF

IT.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND THAT THROUGHOUT THE

OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW

"TESTAMENT, THE LORD SHOWS"

"US 365 TIMES, DO NOT BE"

AFRAID.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

"AND SO EVERY DAY HE SAYS,"

"DO NOT BE AFRAID, AS LONG"

AS YOU'RE WALKING THE PATH

OF TRUTH.

SO I'M NOT AFRAID.

FROM ANYONE.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THE

"TRUTH, THAT THE MESSIAH"

HAS GIVEN US.

Erick: THEY ARE THE

ORIGINAL ISLAMIC TERRORIST

GROUP.

THEY SPAWNED al-QAEDA

AND HAMAS.

THEY'RE AMERICA'S NEXT

"GREAT ENEMY, AND THEY'RE"

IN YOUR BACKYARD.

IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND

"THE WAR ON TERROR, YOU"

MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND THE

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.

PICK UP MY NEW BOOK.

" Erick: FATHER, FIRST"

"OF ALL, OUR PRAYERS ARE"

WITH YOU.

OUR SUPPORT IS WITH YOU.

YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE

WHO LOVE YOU HERE IN THE

UNITED STATES WHO SUPPORT

YOU.

WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT 40

"SECONDS LEFT, SO WE HAVE"

TO BE QUICK.

DO YOU HAVE A FINAL QUICK

WORD FOR US OF

"ENCOURAGEMENT, ANYTHING"

ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY

IN THE BRIEF TIME WE HAVE?

[SPEAKING A FOREIGNLANGUAGE]

Through Translator: I

WOULD LIKE TO TELL THE

WORLD THAT ANYONE LOOKING

FOR THE TRUTH...TO FIND

"THE TRUTH, TO STAND BY THE"

TRUTH AND PUT ASIDE ALL

POLITICAL INTERESTS AND TO

JUST GO WITH WHAT'S RIGHT.

[SPEAKING A FOREIGN

LANGUAGE]

Through Translator:

AND ISRAEL IS THE LAND OF

"GOD, AND THE LIGHT UNTO"

THE NATIONS.

AND IF ISRAEL DOESN'T

"STAND, IT WILL BE THE"

DISASTER OF THE WORLD.

" Erick: FATHER, THANK"

YOU SO MUCH.

"GOD BLESS YOU, MY FRIEND."

I HOPE TO SEE YOU IN

ISRAEL SOON AGAIN.

"EMILY, THANK YOU."

YOU MAKE A GREAT TEAM.

THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE

"ON ""THE WATCHMAN."""

"GOD BLESS YOU, AND"

"REMEMBER, NEVER HOLD YOUR"

PEACE.

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