Palestinians Remember the Nakba or “The Catastrophe”

The wall partially surrounding Bethlehem stands as a constant reminder of the Nakba. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)

On May 15, Palestinians observed the Nakba, (translated literally, the catastrophe) commemorating when thousands of Palestinians, including a large percentage of Christians, were driven out of their homes in 1948.

After World War II, world powers reorganized the borders of the Middle East without taking the populations into account. Thousand of Palestinians were killed or driven from their homes as the modern state of Israel was formed, and this refugee crisis has not been resolved to this day.

Jack Sara of Bethlehem Bible College says, “It’s a huge issue that somehow the Christians of the West either were not aware of or just had dismissed and thrown under the carpet.”

The reason? Many Christian groups in the United States align strongly with Israel, seeing the country as fulfilling biblical prophecy. That its founding caused so much destruction and pain, especially to fellow Christians, is unsettling.

The catastrophe

Sara describes what happened. “Over 700,000 Palestinians became refugees. And a lot of them became internally displaced people within Palestine and Israel. Or They had to flee to other countries. Many of them had to flee out of fear for their lives, yet a lot of them were evacuated out of their towns and cities and villages. Many of these villages . . . some were destroyed and erased so that people cannot go back.”

This story is personal for Sara and other Palestinian Christians. Both his grandfathers lost their houses during the Nakba. “Both became refugees, somewhere.  Thankfully, they were refugees within their own city. They moved from West Jerusalem to East Jerusalem. But many people had to flee to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as other countries.”

Sara says these refugees settled in their new countries, but no amends have ever been made for their displacement.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller


  • Pray that Palestinian Christians would feel the love and the presence of Jesus Christ.
  • Praise God for the kingdom building Palestinian refugees have done in countries like Jordan.
  • Pray that violence in Palestine would end.