'We have never had a religious war with Islam'

President Rivlin meets Bishop Lekganyana, speaks about Jerusalem's unification and the friendship between Christians and Jews.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

President Reuven Rivlin with Bishop Barnabas Lekganyana
President Reuven Rivlin with Bishop Barnabas Lekganyana
President’s Spokesperson

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday, met with Zion Christian Church (ZCC) head Bishop Barnabas Lekganyana, who was visiting Jerusalem as part of a tour of Israel.

ZCC is one of Africa’s largest Christian churches.

Rivlin welcomed Lekganyana and spoke of the importance of the strong friendship between the Jewish community and the Christian communities in Israel and around the world. Speaking about his family's long history in Jerusalem, Rivlin mentioned that he is a seventh-generation Jerusalemite.

“We have never had a religious war with Islam, we understood that we had to live in harmony,” Rivlin said. “We are now 50 years as the sovereigns of a united Jerusalem, and everyone can worship God according to their beliefs.”

“We can hear any kind of criticism, but the idea to boycott Israel [goes] against the very idea that the people of Israel have a right to live in our homeland. This is something that we cannot accept.

“Israel is a Jewish-democratic state, there is no contradiction between the two ideas.”

Lekganyana’s delegation told Rivlin of the tradition to gather millions of the Church’s followers together three times a year, and of the importance the community held in praying for peace for all mankind.