New York, NY, April 9, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Israel's Interior Ministry to take immediate action to address the current backlog of visa renewals for Christian clergy working or residing in Israel.
"We have received many calls and complaints, and we have done our best to assure our Christian friends that we know this matter is being taken seriously and will be resolved soon," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While we recognize that these delays are not caused by any purposeful interference with the work of Christian clergy, it is difficult to explain."
In a letter to Interior Minister Avraham Poraz, Mr. Foxman noted that the backlog had prompted concern among Christian leaders in the U.S. and the Vatican. Potentially thousands of priests, nuns and Christian volunteers could be affected by the processing delays.
ADL urged Mr. Poraz to take prompt action to resolve pending visa renewals for members of the clergy. "It is our hope that your intervention will create the impetus necessary to see this problem to its speedy and proper resolution," the letter stated.