The Palestinian Authority has officially granted legal recognition to a regional evangelical group, according to an announcement made at the World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly.
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.
Council President Munir Kakish announced at the WEA General Assembly, being held Nov. 7-12 near Jakarta, Indonesia, that the PA had finally granted his organization legal recognition.
In a copy of his speech provided to The Christian Post, Kakish announced that they had been working to get the recognition for 12 years.
“We have been granted our full civil rights as a religious organization,” noted Kakish. “This is a historic moment as other countries nearby do not have recognition.”
“Our hearts are full of thankfulness to God for this new declaration,” he added, also thanking PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Dr. Ramzi Khoury, general director of the Palestinian National Fund, for being granted the recognition.
As a result of the official recognition, the Council can grant marriage licenses, open bank accounts, and legally purchase land registered in their name.
Bishop Efraim Tendero, secretary general of WEA for which the Council is their evangelical alliance in the region, celebrated the recognition of the Council in a speech at the General Assembly.
“We just enjoyed a wonderful success this week when the Palestinian National Authority granted full recognition to our evangelical alliance in Palestine, which they have been seeking for 12 years,” said Tendero.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski