JERUSALEM (May. 22)
More than 2,500 delegates from many countries are participating in the three-day world conference here of the Pentecostal movement, formally organized as the Church of God in Christ. The movement claims 8,500,000 members throughout the world, and considers the rebirth of the State of Israel as one of the signs that the Messiah is coming.
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in a message to the delegates emphasized “the historic meaning of the Biblical promises for the return of Israel to its land and the revival of the language of the prophets.” Abba Eban, Israel’s Minister of Education, addressing the conference, pointed out that “this generation’s greatest issue is draw not between Christianity and Judaism, and not between Israel and the Christian nations, but between those who assert and those who deny the supremacy of faith and freedom. “
In a statement directed toward the Israeli people, the Rev. Howard Courtney of Los Angeles, chairman of the conference, declared: “We believe God’s hand is on you. We believe that the Jews are in Israel, not by accident but in definite fulfillment of prophecy. This is a greater manifestation or God’s power than when He brought you out of Egyptian bondage. For us, this is a modern-day miracle.”
Another speaker was Rabbi Arthur Gilbert, director of the department of inter-religious affairs, of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. “Deepening of inter-religious understanding, ” he stated, “and a growing sense of fellowship are the fruits of the sincere Pentecostal belief in Israel’s establishment “
So enthusiastic were the delegates about the welcome they have received in Israel that, at last night’s session, they decided spontaneously to plant a forest of 10, 000 trees in this country “as an expression of thanks for the warm welcome we received here.” Each of the 2, 500 conference delegates contributed $10 for the purchase of four trees.
Many of the delegates attended sessions of the Eichmann trial while here, and expressed approval of Israel’s efforts to bring Eichmann to justice. Among these were Dr. D. Lawrence Williams, presiding bishop of Memphis; and the Rev. James A. Cross, overseer of the Church in Philadelphia. “I think” said Dr Cross, “all Christians everywhere will rejoice to see justice triumph.”