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Middle Eastern Christian Festival Sept. 28-29

posted Sep 9, 2013, 1:27 PM by Interfaith WS

Friendly Arabic Church will hold its annual Middle Eastern Christian Festival from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day September 28-29 at 1292 Whicker Road in Kernersville.  The event, open to the public, is designed to help others understand the culture and faith of the members.

Organizers says the free event is a cultural experience.  More information is available by calling 336-993-7500.

Many people from the Middle East were once persecuted for their Christian beliefs and forced to flee, but now some Middle Eastern Christians are joining together in the Piedmont Triad to freely expressing their faith.  Friendly Arabic Church members come from Lebanon, Iran, Palestine and Syria.

Kalim Andraos is one of the members who faced difficult times growing up as a Christian in Lebanon before his family sought religious freedom and a safer life in the U.S.  "The freedom that we have in this wonderful country, there's nothing like it in this whole wide world,” said Andraos.

Karim Lokas, an Egyptian Christian, said, "I was talking to some refugees from Iraq here and they said to me, 'Karim, we feel so relieved, I can finally shut my door and not be afraid, right?' They don't have to fear bombs going off. They don't have to fear someone treating them a different way because as long as you obey the laws of the land you're good.”

Although they have the freedom to worship their Christian faith, many Middle Eastern Christians face the same discrimination as Muslims because of their accent or their dress.  Lokas said that he hopes education will help his neighbors learn more about his faith and culture.