Beirut/Haifa. The ongoing Middle Eastern conflict between Israel and Lebanon is also having its effects on local congregations of the New Apostolic Church. The situation is especially precarious in cities such as Beirut and Haifa which are coming under heavy bombardment. There is great concern for our brethren in the region!
In a letter to the German congregations in his working area, District Apostle Hagen Wend from Frankfurt, who is responsible for the direction of the New Apostolic Church in Lebanon, expressed great concern over the current situation. For the time being, the members of the Beirut congregation are in good health since they live in areas of the city that have not been hit by bombardments. Some of our brethren in faith have taken shelter in our New Apostolic Church in Beirut. Others have left the city or the country and have travelled to friends or relatives. The region’s economic situation has become a particularly great concern, according to District Apostle Hagen Wend. He called upon the brethren in the German congregations to pray especially for all affected persons in Beirut and the surroundings—and in particular to pray that peace may soon prevail!
In Israel, the congregations of Akko and Haifa have been especially hard hit by the military conflict. District Apostle Michael Ehrich, who is responsible for the region, tells us that the brethren from the entire region surrounding Haifa—in Eilabun, Ibelin, Maghar, and Shefar’am—barely even leave their homes anymore. As a result, divine services can only take place sporadically in the homes of our brethren. At present, no divine services are being conducted in Haifa or Akko.
Bishop Rolf Ludwig of the District Church of Southern Germany has been unable to carry out his planned trip to Israel. He has had to coordinate all necessary activities with the local Priests by telephone. A number of economically uncertain situations have also come about in the area. “Seen as a whole,” says District Apostle Michael Ehrich, “the brethren are suffering under significant pressure as a consequence of this situation in the country.”
The New Apostolic congregation in Beirut, Lebanon numbers some 90 members. In Israel, the New Apostolic Church has approximately 700 members in eight congregations.
31 July 2006