Islamists attack courageous female minister in East Jerusalem


By Mark Ellis

Karen Dunham
Karen Dunham

Karen Dunham has survived many attempts on her life as she ministered Christ’s compassion to Palestinians in Jericho and Gaza. Some have referred to her as a “Mother Teresa in Israel.” Now she is asking for God’s protection due to mounting pressures to force her from her ministry headquarters in East Jerusalem.

On September 21st, she was assaulted by an extremist bent on doing her harm. “The man ran up from behind me and with both fists hit me as hard as he could in the back,” says Dunham, founder of the Living Bread International Church. She slammed to the ground, sustaining a fractured wrist, busted teeth, knee damage, and bruises from head to toe.

The most recent attacks against her ministry began two months ago. When she returned from a trip to the U.S., Islamists had taken over her parking lot, constructed an illegal structure there, and informed her they had designs on the entire property. One week ago they tore off her front gate and front door.

Then they stole a privacy shade and metal security fence around their offices. “Without the metal fence we’re like sitting ducks,” she says.

When she called a company to replace the fencing, Islamists attacked the repairman and he fled.

The next day, a man with a black plastic bag walked by and began to pump a toxic gas into her porch, where she and her staff were sitting. They got up and ran into the church nearby, along with some of the orphans they care for.

“I can’t breathe!” many of the children cried as they ran into the church.

“We ran inside the church (next door) and they had filled it with gas through a couple open windows,” Dunham reports. She found out later the illegal structure in her parking lot was used to store the gas and the machine to pump it into the church through hoses.

“They are also threatening to bomb us if we don’t leave,” she says. One of the orphans recognized the man who knocked over Dunham. “He made a motion with his hand like he was going to take her head off,” scaring the child.

The police in East Jerusalem have been completely uncooperative, according to Dunham. She also talked with her contacts in the Israeli army.

“Should we give up and leave?” she asked one of the officers. “Should all Christians leave East Jerusalem?”

“No, don’t go anywhere,” he advised. However, her office is outside their “jurisdiction,” so they cannot offer her any protection.

Dunham embraces Muslim woman
Dunham embraces Muslim woman

In 2003, Dunham met an evangelistic Catholic priest, Father George, who amazed her when he said, “Go to Jericho and feed the people and win the whole city for Jesus.” The Holy Spirit gripped her soul when he said those words. Immediately she knew that she and her son must move to Jericho, “the door of the land.”

At the time, there were no Americans in Jericho. “The only woman who would rent me a house was a woman in one of the refugee camps who desperately needed money,” Dunham recalls.

Some of her Jewish friends expressed anger when she said she wanted to move into Jericho to feed hungry Palestinians. “Why would God tell you to feed the enemy?” they asked.

Since then, Dunham survived numerous fire bombings of her home and attempts on her life. She has become widely recognized for her acts of compassion, ministering the gospel in refugee camps in Jericho and Gaza. Against all odds, she built churches among the Palestinians.

She won unusual favor from Israelis and Palestinians, but the atmosphere changed after the most recent fighting in Gaza. “The temperature is red (hot)” and rising now, according to Dunham.

Dunham has been offered alternative office space in a safer part of West Jerusalem, but she is waiting on the Lord to provide the funds for such a move. “I will never give up the church unless the Lord says to move,” she says.

A few days ago, her son’s Jewish friend, Adar, painted a large passage of Scripture next to their front entrance from Exodus 12:23:

“For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.”

“Our hearts are soaked in the blood of Christ,” Dunham told Adar. “We have to send a message to the principalities so the destroyer passes over.”

The Lord spoke to Dunham in the middle of the night and told her He would heal her broken wrist. The next morning when she awoke she stripped off her cast and bandages and the wrist was completely healed.

“Tonight they threw urine at us and attacked two of our volunteers from the U.S.,” she notes. “This is a war with Islamic extreme. But we keep praying for our enemies, worshipping, blowing the shofar, and declaring Jesus Christ as Lord.”

If you want to hear more about Karen Dunham’s life, listen to episode 1 of our Best of God Reports Interview Podcast with journalist Mark Ellis, go here:


  1. Dear Karen,

    Great reading about you and your ministry to the Muslims in Jerusalem. Sad to hear about the persecution and the hurts and wounds you received in this attack. Praying that the Lord would minister to you and heal you completely and may you continue to be a blessing to many many more in that land.


    Praveen Adams

  2. Our prayers go up to the throne room of God that His mighty hand be over you as a glass wall that covers you from all harm. We prayer fear comes upon the enemy and that confusion is their way.
    God is your deliverer. He will not abandon you.

  3. I will keep you & your ministry team in daily prayer. You’re an inspiration to us, knowing that someday, we will go through such persecution as I also live in a muslim country where “rumbling” have begun verbally! God be with you always

  4. Prayers are the gold to us right now in this extreme trial. This morning we awoke to missing window shutters and graffiti all over our doors but praise God the cross is shining brightly
    in Jesus Christ and we pray for our neighborhood extreme they to will see the shining light.

    • shalom pastor karen

      Jesus is your refuge and he will always be

      love blessings and prayers over you and your house
      Anne (worship/Germany)

  5. Karen, we plead the Blood of Jesus over you, your staff, and your whole compound of needy.
    Join us in this powerful prayer: “Father, in the mighty Name of Jesus – Yeshua – we ask you to send Michael the Archangel and all the heavenly hosts to destroy the principalities of hatred, savagery, Islam, intimidation and fear in Jericho and around Karen Dunham. Let the power of God be seen and felt, and many hearts bow before You, as You work.”

    • AMEN!!! The Lord bless you and keep you safe! May you see much fruit in saved enemy souls and be untouchable to those who refuse God’s forgiveness.

  6. Karen, i am holding you up in prayer and you are in my heart always. praying for all believers in Christ. Love to you

  7. Have been praying for you and your ministry since I met you in Lake Bluff, IL about 6 years ago. I promise to keep at it and I want you to know that you are a true inspiration for me/us!

  8. Karen,
    I read your post and watched your video. Things are really intensifying in both the spirit realm and the natural realm. I am sorry for all that your are going through and i will stand in prayer for you and those who are with you.
    Shalom, Kathy

    • Here is a beautiful song to encourage you in all that you do. Bless you and all those in your keeping. xo

      I cant seem to add the link..but it is Oceans by hillsong xo

  9. Greetings from Minnesota–Praying God’s hedge of protection all around you and those ministering with you. “Our God reigns forever and ever.”

  10. Praying that the Lord would minister to you and heal you completely and may you continue to be a blessing to many many more in that land.

    • Dear Ps Karen, You are truly a star in the hand of the Lord. Keep shining and we will keep praying. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

      Shalom with prayers,

  11. Praise the Lord, I always pray for the nation of Israel, pledging the blood of Jesus over all the people of the land. Our God is a wonderful Father, At first I use to pray judgment upon those that come against the people of God but only recently the Lord has put in my heart to pray for them that God by his Holy Spirit will bring them Jesus.

    One with you in Pray
    Papua New Guinea

  12. Thank you for sharing. You are in our prayers. God is moving, He is leading you and guiding you
    He has increased your measure of faith and He is showing you through the Holy Spirit what to
    to do.
    I pray that the land that was taken would be restored ten fold. I pray that your enemies eyes would
    be open and the lies of the enemy would be exposed.
    I pray that your enemies plans would never come to not, that they would see the love of Christ through you and desire truth . Thank you for sharing, keep sharing, so we can pray for you.
    Above all Praise God, Worship Him, Be filled with praise so that fear never enters your mind.
    Worship and praise are your weapons.

  13. I ask the Lord and declare ” what the enemy means for evil God will turn around for good” that your persecutors want to know that Jesus who knew no sin loves them so much that he gave His life for them and rose from the dead to bring love joy peace goodness kindness gentleness and so much more.
    This is eternal life that they may know Him Jesus the very Son of God and the power of the Holy Spirit and transformation in their lives.
    Bless you Karen as you serve Jesus the King of Glory.

  14. Very brave women & men of God. Pray father for your fire to be place before then during the night & the cloud during the day. Open the hearts of the persecutors to receive the truth of Gods word.

  15. Shalom Karen and team!! My husband and I met with you when we were on tour with Return Ministries from Canada and we were so blessed to have you pray over each one of us in our group and give us a word from the Lord. We are joining you in prayer for His covering of protection and that His blessings would rain down on you and the church. We are coming to the land for the Feast and could join you while we are there!! I will keep in touch! Be blessed, Sue

  16. Hey Karen, hope you are feeling better , friends in Texas and Mexico are praying for your success/VICTORY !!!!!!!Be encouraged. Thank God, even in our weakness, HE can show HIMSELF STRONG on our behalf!!!! Keep up the GOOD/Courageous work! Love ya, Don Anderson. I can be contacted on Facebook just at Don Anderson. I’m the one wearing a goofy blue and white Hawaian Shirt!!!!!

  17. Karen: Dear sister, may God bless and protect you and all those with you as you stand for Him in the city of our great King Jesus Christ. You will all be in our constant prayers.


  19. Karen,
    No wewpon formed against
    You shall prosper.
    The blood of Jesus is mighty to
    Save, deliver and restore the plans
    That the enemy has !

  20. Hello Karen,

    I had the privilege of visiting you in Jerico with my friend Joanie, I think it was in 2007. I remember that shots were fired into your living room that night after we had gone back to
    Jerusalem. I remember that the shell of your burned-0ut car was sitting outside your
    home. We are praying for you.

    • Let Us keep on praying for the ministry work that pastor karen is doing. In kenya God used Karen widely. I am praying for the peace, favor and strength for her. My contact is:-

  21. Exodus 17:8-16 (NIV)
    The Amalekites Defeated
    8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
    10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
    14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
    15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[a] the throne of the Lord,[b] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

    Karen, in France and everywhere around the world, we are your Aaron and Hur, we pray for you and for your church, we support your hands.
    Do not lower the hands, our God will give you full victory.

    Forgiveness for my bad English.

  22. Dearest Friend Karen,
    I am praying for you all and have been since I heard about Gaza. I am praying now harder since I seen your video today… Love you Sister in Christ and miss you so! God be with you and you stand strong as you have…I shall not be moved and God will not be moved nor his people in Jesus name AMEN, So Be It!


  23. surely God is great and He cannot forsake his servants. thank u caren for being firm in christ

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