Palestinian Christians are grateful that pastor Johnny Shahwan has been released on bail from a Bethlehem prison.
Pastor Johnny was arrested and detained on 3 March after unintentionally hosting the Jewish right-wing nationalist activist and former Knesset member Rabbi Yehuda Glick at a gathering of German tourists the previous day. The rabbi’s attendance came to light when he posted a selfie taken with pastor Johnny on his social media.
That publication incited a strong social media backlash, with many speaking out negatively against pastor Johnny and his ministry.
Johnny has been charged under article 130 of the Jordanian penal code which relates to propaganda in wartime weakening national feeling or leading to sectarian strife. A hearing is scheduled for 23 May.
Johnny was initially refused bail, but on 11 April the judge permitted his conditional release.
Palestinian Christians are thankful for Johnny’s release from prison and request prayer that:
- Johnny will recover from the time of detention
- Johnny’s lawyer will be able to prepare well for the upcoming hearing
- It will be recognised that Johnny had no wrong intentions and had mistakenly hosted the Jewish activist
- Palestinian Christians will continue to be seen as an integral part of Palestinian society