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Historic Christian Organization in Israel Rejected for Clergy Visas

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A major evangelical organization is concerned about its future in Israel. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is telling Israeli media the government has rejected its request for clergy visas on the grounds that it no longer qualifies as a "religious institution."

The ICEJ was established in 1980 as a registered Israeli non-profit organization with the assent of then Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

It’s “founding mandate was to encourage Christians worldwide to stand with Israel and the Jewish people in solidarity and friendship, especially in relation to the 3,000-year-old Jewish claim and connection to Jerusalem,” the ICEJ said in a statement.

The ICEJ largely focuses on humanitarian work as well as hosting a gathering that brings thousands of Christians from around the world up to Jerusalem each year for the biblical Feast of Tabernacles based on Zechariah 14:16. 

The ICEJ says the change in availability of visas threatens its operations in Israel.

CBN News spokes with ICEJ Vice President David Parsons about the situation.

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CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming 24 hours a day by cable, satellite and the Internet. Staffed by a group of acclaimed news professionals, CBN News delivers stories to over a million viewers each day without a specific agenda. With its headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va., CBN News has bureaus in Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and elsewhere around the world. What began as a segment on CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club, in the early 1980s, CBN News has since expanded into a multimedia news organization that offers today's news headlines