ALL ARAB NEWS reported on Monday that a Palestinian judge decided midday to release Evangelical Pastor Johnny Shahwan from jail.
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The move comes after the Palestinian Christian spent 40 days and nights incarcerated in very difficult conditions. Monday morning began Day 41.
The pastor was arrested on March 2 by the Palestinian Authority and his ministry - Beit Al-Liqa in Beit Jala - was shut down, for allegedly meeting with former Knesset Member Yehudah Glick. The Palestinians "accused Shahwan of promoting normalization with the 'Zionist entity' and welcoming an 'extremist Zionist settler' into the center," according to a report by Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh.
Beit Al-Liqa released a statement on the day of Shahwan's arrest saying that the pastor was not aware of Glick’s identity when he opened the center’s doors to him.
“Beit Al-Liqa hosted a group of German tourists… At the end of the meeting with Pastor Johnny Shahwan, an unidentified person [Glick] suddenly walked in and asked to take a ‘selfie’ with Shahwan and the tourists. We were not aware of the presence of this extremist Zionist person, and he was not part of the group’s itinerary," the statement said, according to Toameh.
Last Tuesday night, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was briefed on Shahwan’s plight and asked his attorney general and security services to carefully review the case. Abbas indicated that he wanted to see the pastor released in the coming days.
The review was completed, and on Monday, the judge made his decision. He was released at 3 p.m.
Palestinian Christians of several denominations have been praying and working for his release. They are rejoicing that this brother has finally been set free.