URGENT PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE ISRAELI EMBASSY IN SOUTH AFRICA

“ZCC engage with Christian Heritage in Israel”

A delegation from the leadership of the Zion Christian Church and his Grace reverend Bishop Dr Barnabas Lekganyane is visiting Israel from 17 to 25 October to focus on engaging with the Christian Heritage in Israel. Bishop Lekganyane met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the South African diplomatic representatives in Israel to strengthen relationships between Israel and the Christian community in South Africa.

The delegation also met with Deputy Director General of MASHAV (Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Gil Haskel, sharing expertise from across Israel in water, technology and innovation to help develop and spread their knowledge back in South Africa. During the meeting with the South African Ambassador in Israel, Spokesperson to Bishop Lekganyane said “We are standing on sovereign soil, in the Embassy of South Africa in Israel. This is our piece of land in the Holy Land. Your minister grew up next door to me, please tell her [the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation] that we will remain on this soil in the Holy Land and please inform your President and your government accordingly”.

The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, welcomed the Bishop and spoke of the importance of the strong friendship between the Jewish community and the Christian communities in Israel and around the world. President Rivlin said: “We have never had a religious war with Islam, we understood that we had to live in harmony. We are now 50 years as the sovereigns of a united Jerusalem, and everyone can worship God according to their beliefs”.

Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Lior Keinan said: “The ZCC and the people of Israel share a deep and historical connection, reverberating through our joint practices and shared values. Yet another example of the importance and magnitude of the strong people-to-people relationship between Israel and South Africa.”

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