Arab pastor visits Finland

ICEJ Worldwide

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Posted on: 
12 Jul 2016
Arab pastor visits Finland
This spring, ICEJ-Finland hosted Arab pastor Saleem Shalash from Nazareth to Finland, to broaden European understanding of life in Israel.  Shalash taught in both English and Arabic, addressing the many Middle Eastern immigrants in attendance.
Director of ICEJ-Finland, Kari O. Niemi, shared how unique and powerful it was to host an Israeli of Arab descent: “It was an awesome possibility to visit the churches with an Arab pastor who loves Israel. His preaching was anointed and strong.”
The testimony and teachings of Pastor Shalash touched many hearts, especially those of the immigrants. Many are seeking and hungry for the Word of God. He shared that the Arab believers in Nazareth have never been forced to become Jews. They can build their churches, worship the Lord and preach the Gospel.
“We need to ask ‘Why Israel?’” said Shalash at one of the events. “Many great empires have disappeared, but this tiny little Israel still exists. Why? When I started to read the Bible I realized this is because of the promise God gave to this nation. God keeps his promises and protects Israel.”
Over 200 people gathered in Belfast to participate in Ireland’s first March of Life to commemorate Yom HaShoah this past May. The event began with violinist Vicki Schmidt’s beautiful performance of the theme song from Schindler’s List; marchers then began their walk, carrying the flags of the nations to demonstrate that the march was part of an international commemoration.
The march ended at the City Hall in the centre of Belfast, where “The Silence of the Bystander” by Elie Wiesel (Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner) was read, followed by a corporate prayer in which the participants made a promise to lift their voices against every form of Jew hatred, modern anti-semitism and racism.
The commemoration concluded with singing of Hatikvah (The Hope), Israel’s national anthem. A reception was later held at Belfast Castle. The list of distinguished guests included Mr. Melvyn Goldberger, son of a Holocaust survivor, Otto Goldberger, and Rabbi David Singer.


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