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Tuesday June 28, 2011 9:35 AM (EST+7)
Christian supporters of Israel complain of visa policies

Read more: residency, right to enter, population, displacement, transfer, forced displacement, identity card, Christians, Zionism

RAMALLAH, June 28 (JMCC) - Israel's interior ministry is making it harder for Christian supporters to stay and work in the country, reports the head of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.

Rev. Malcolm Hedding, who has run the ICEJ for the last decade, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post last week that over the last three years, he has noticed a new ministry policy toward Evangelical foreign agencies, which has “decimated their organizations in terms of their ability to hold professional staff, significantly impacting our ability to operate.”

Hedding said the Christian Embassy was staffed by approximately 60 people, but the number has dropped to the 40 mark.

“We are working through these challenges, and hope they can be resolved. To me, this has been one of most disappointing things, because here we have Israel’s best friends, and they are struggling to operate because the Interior Ministry cannot enter into any type of working agreement with us on how to move forward. So what happens is we find senior staff removed overnight,” Hedding said.

The ministry flatly denied Hedding’s charge. “There has been no change in the policy toward the embassy... and any claim to that effect is baseless,” the ministry’s spokeswoman said in response to a query.

The ICEJ, which was founded in 1980, has branches and representatives in over 80 nations worldwide and “stands at the forefront of a growing mainstream movement of Christians worldwide who share a love and concern for Israel,” according to the organization’s website.







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