Grapevine Pastor Asks for Prayers for Israel ... by Posting Photos of Devastation in Palestine

Survivors move through rubble following Israeli bombings in Gaza, which have left nearly 250 Palestinians dead.
Survivors move through rubble following Israeli bombings in Gaza, which have left nearly 250 Palestinians dead. Fatima Shbair/Getty
The recent devastation in Gaza is horrifying the world, and one pastor at Grapevine’s Fellowship Church is particularly moved by the images, at least those he apparently thought depicted the Israelis for whom he is praying.

Ed Young, a pastor at the church and (as he points out on his Instagram) New York Times bestselling author of The Fear Virus, which claims that all fears in life can be assuaged by a love of God, made a post last week with the caption: “Pray with me. For protection of the innocent. For peace. For loved ones lost. For our leaders. In Jesus name.”

Young’s Instagram post included seven photos, the latter of which is an image that reads “Pray for Israel.” Most of the photos he uploaded were of the effects of the conflict on Palestinians.

The photos shared by Young stem from publishers Al Jazeera, Getty, and BBC, among others, and depict the bombings on Gaza by Israeli raids, which have resulted in the deaths of nearly 250 Palestinians.

Young’s post was shared by Dallas activist and writer Stephanie Drenka, who wrote on Facebook:

“This is one of the grossest examples of unethical storytelling and exploitation I've ever seen on social media.”

Drenka included the links to the original photos

“I can't stop thinking about the brave photojournalists who risked their lives to show the world what is happening in Palestine — and those whose grief was captured in the images — only to have the pictures used in a call to pray for their oppressors. #FreePalestine,” Drenka added.

Drenka says she learned of Young's post from an Instagram story by the account Dallasfoodwanderer, where the influencer shared Young’s photos and added her own comments.

In one photo of a blown-up mosque she shared from Young's post, the blogger added the caption “Hmmm I didn’t know Israel had mosques” and in a photo of a man carrying a child away from a street with buildings turned to rubble, she wrote, “A man holding his child runs away after Israeli warplanes launched attacks over Gaza Strip."

Young has not returned our request for comment.
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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
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