Very good news: Palestinian Authority officially recognizes Palestinian Evangelical Council of Churches after 12 year effort. Here’s the latest.

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(Jericho, Palestinian Authority) — It is my deep conviction that Evangelicals in North America and around the world who love Israel and the Jewish people must also love all Arabs, including the Palestinian people.

The Bible is crystal clear: God loves all people everywhere. God most certainly loves the Palestinians. Indeed, He cares for them immensely and wants followers of Jesus to care for them, encourage them and pray for them.

The Lord especially wants us to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Palestinian Evangelical churches. We may not agree on everything theologically or geopolitically. Nor do they agree with us on everything. That’s okay. We can still live our neighbor and be committed to the kind of spiritual unity and fellowship that the Lord Jesus speaks of in John chapter 17.

To this end, I have some very encouraging news to share with you. God is showing His favor on Palestinian Evangelicals this month, and I wanted you to be aware of this news and rejoice over it.

“The Palestinian Authority has officially granted legal recognition to a regional evangelical group,” reports the Christian Post. “For years, the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land had operated in the West Bank, but without official recognition from the government….(Yet) Council President Munir Kakish announced at the World Evangelical Association (WEA) General Assembly held Nov. 7-12 near Jakarta, Indonesia, that the PA had finally granted his organization legal recognition.”

Munir Kakish, who pastors an Evangelical Church in Ramallah, has become a dear friend over the years, and I was so encouraged to get a direct report from him on all these developments. After all, I have been praying with him and his colleagues about such things for at least eight years.

Here are the remarks Pastor Munir gave at the WEA meeting. Please read them and share them with others. Please join me in thanking the Lord for this decision by the PA, and join me, too, in praying daily for the Palestinian churches to grow in depth, boldness and numbers.

“Good morning, I am Pastor Munir Kakish and I represent the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in Palestine (the West Bank), Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. We are the united voice of the Evangelicals in Palestine.  

“We are committed to supporting those who are in Palestinian leadership positions through our prayers.   We are against injustice, tyranny, violence and racism and are for fairness, justice and peace for our Palestinian people.

“The council has been requesting official recognition from the Palestinian authorities to grant us our civil rights. Bishop Tendero  helped by visiting the authorities in order for them to grant us legal recognition. We appreciate his help.

“Just last week the Palestinian Authorities granted the Evangelicals legal recognition.

“Previously, we could not grant marriage licenses. Now ourlicenses are legally recognized.

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“Previously, our churches could not open bank accounts. Now a church can open a bank account.

“Previously, we could not register land or church properties in the name of the Church.  Now our churches are able to legally purchase land.

“We have been granted our full civil rights as a religious organization.

“This is a historic moment as other countries nearby do not have recognition and this places the Palestine Authority as a leader for religious freedom in the area.

“Here is the presidential decree signed by the Palestinian President, President Mahmoud Abbas!  I have worked for 12 years to obtain this decree.  

“Our hearts are full of thankfulness to God for this new declaration.

“We also want to thank President Mahmoud Abbas and Dr. Ramzi Khoury for making the Evangelicals a legal organization in Palestine.

I urge you, pray for the Palestinian authorities and the Palestinian people.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  Thank you.”

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BREAKING: After 450 rockets fired at Israel — and intense Israeli retaliation — terrorists accept ceasefire in Gaza. But please keep praying. Here’s the latest.

72546B5B-7263-45B1-AC04-21EA9A4C104F(Jerusalem, Israel) — After several days of intense fighting, a cease-fire is in now place between Israel and the “Islamic Jihad” terrorist faction in Gaza.

The truce, brokered by Egyptian intelligence, was set to begin at 5:30am local time. It was broken by the terrorists, but as of 3pm local time now appears to be holding. 

“A spokesperson for the Israeli military said that around 450 rockets had been launched toward Israel during the recent escalation, of which 60% landed in open fields and 90% of the remainder were intercepted,” reported the Times of Israel.

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In the face of this week’s fighting, I ask Christians around the world to pray for:

  • calm and security to be fully restored on both sides of the border
  • the Lord to comfort all Israelis and Palestinians who have been emotionally traumatized and physically wounded by the fighting
  • the Lord to show mercy to the families of the 34 Palestinians killed in the fighting, 25 of whom were confirmed terrorists
  • all Israeli and Palestinian children to be especially comforted — schools have been closed for the last three days and millions of kids have been huddled in basements and bomb shelters, alternately battling both fear and boredom
  • the Jewish and Arab followers of Jesus in the Land to know how best to show compassion to their people and to have opportunities to be bold witnesses for the Lord — the people of this region so desperately need to know and experience the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • the Lord to give The Joshua Fund board and staff wisdom to know how best to be a blessing and comfort to those on both sides of the conflict.

Thanks so much. (For the latest updates and breaking news, please follow me on Twitter.)

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BREAKING: ASSASSINATION OF ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADER IN GAZA TRIGGERS WAVES OF ROCKETS AGAINST ISRAEL

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(Herzliya, Israel) — Multiple barrages of rockets are being fired at Israel at this hour after Islamic Jihad commander was killed by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli reporter Eylon Levy is reporting that “the IDF and Shin Bet attacked overnight a building with PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) commander Baha Abu Al Ata.” He adds that Al Ata was “a ticking bomb,” according to IDF, and peparing to “commit immediate terror attacks in various ways.”

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For the latest updates on this fast moving story, please follow me on Twitter.

Please pray for the protection of innocent civilians and for calm to be quickly restored on both sides of the border.

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Why should Israel appoint an Ambassador to the Christians? And is peace between Israel & the Gulf States closer at hand than most critics think? (Video of my briefing to the #ChristianMediaSummit in Jerusalem.)

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — On Monday, I was honored to address more than 150 Christian journalists, broadcasters, authors and media executives from more than 30 countries who have come to Jerusalem for the Israeli government’s 3rd annual Christian Media Summit.

I briefed the group on two topics:

1. My recent column in The Jerusalem Post calling for the next Israeli government to appoint an Ambassador the Christian community. After making it clear that I’m not interested in the position for myself — just trying to build broad-based support throughout the Israeli political spectrum for the concept — I laid out why we need such a position and how I see some of the key qualifications for the role.

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2. How doors are opening for Evangelical leaders — including some from Israel — to build relationships with senior Sunni Arab leaders in the region. I briefly described the Delegations that I’ve led to the Arab world over the past two years and why I’m cautiously optimistic that the prospect for peace between Israel and several of the Gulf States is actually increasing, despite all the naysayers.

To watch the briefing (which runs about 17 minutes), please click here. 

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Join Lynn and me on The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Trip” to Israel in October 2020 — and on our first-ever extension tour to Egypt!

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — It is with great excitement about God’s love for the people of Israel and her neighbors that I cordially invite you to join us for The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour to Israel.” It will be held October 13-24, 2020.

We are also hoping to offer — for the first time ever — an optional Egypt Extension from October 24-27, 2020. Explore the land of legendary Pharaohs and timeless treasures. Egypt’s rich history and fascinating culture will be on display, as we visit the Pyramids and view ancient artifacts in Cairo’s famous Egyptian Museum.

If you have never been to the Holy Land, it is hard to describe what a profound spiritual effect such a journey can have on you and your family. You may have heard people say God’s Word seemed to “come alive” in a new way when they walked where Jesus walked, from the shores of Galilee to the Mount of Olives and into the streets of Jerusalem. It’s true.

What better time to sharpen our spiritual eyesight than in the year 2020! I believe our upcoming Israel trip will allow you to see and experience for yourself, as well as intensify your desire to walk more closely with Jesus Christ.

If you have been to Israel before, this trip will be a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of how powerfully the Lord is moving there.

And this tour is like no other. You will have the opportunity to meet with and pray for local pastors and ministry leaders on the frontlines of the faith, as well as participate in a practical ministry project to bless the poor and needy. I will also teach at key locations and answer your questions about the future of the Epicenter. Please prayerfully consider joining us. Lynn I would love to see you here in Israel and hopefully in Egypt!

To view the brochure, please click here.

To watch a video, learn more details, and to register, please click here.

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