Nazareth to Cairo: A Traveling Theology
Rev. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho, Academic Dean of Nazareth Evangelical College, one of Bethlehem Bible College’s branches, gave a course about Palestinian theology at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo.
Dr. Katanacho said that it is his role to build academic relations, especially with academic institutions, as the Academic Dean of Nazareth Evangelical College.
The course he gave was about Palestinian theology. He shared about the theology of the land among Palestinians, our struggles, questions, and our theological reflections for around twenty-two pastors and leaders.
On his reflection of the course, Dr. Yohanna said:
“The students were amazed from the course, and most of them have never been exposed to Palestinian Christian theology before. The students shared with everyone at the college how God touched their minds and hearts. They were inspired to develop Egyptian, Syrian, and Sudanese theologies. My Syrian and Sudanese students were amazed about the similarities between Nakbah and the book of Lamentations. It provoked them to reflect on their political realities from a biblical perspective, and to formulate a prophetic voice in the midst of catastrophic realities.”
He added: “Many students developed tools to respond to Christian Zionism. They also perceived the importance of orthopathos and a theology of tears in the Middle East.”
At the end of the course, the students wrote papers that included how the course impacted their lives. Almost all of the students shared that they are not the same after taking this class. It revolutionized the way they look at Scripture, at Palestinians, and at their own countries.
In addition to teaching the course, Dr. Yohanna also preached at Msr Al Jadidah church, presented a seminar to the faculty about reading the gospel of John through Palestinian eyes, and he preached at chapel.
About his whole visit to Cairo, Dr. Katranacho highlighted:
“Most of all I enjoyed the personal conversations with many godly men and women. We prayed together, and I was really touched by the dedication of the Egyptian Church, the church of the martyrs. I went there to encourage them, but they encouraged me. I am truly thankful for the Seminary in Cairo and their wise leadership.”