(JNS.org) The Greek Orthodox church in Israel has purportedly dismissed Israeli priest Father Gabriel Nadaf over his outspoken support for Christian integration into Israeli society and his pro-Israel Defense Forces stance.
“We warned him before to keep to his priestly duties and not to interfere in matters of the army,” Greek Orthodox Church spokesman Essa Musleh said, AFP reported.
“When he did not heed our warning we held a meeting of the church court which decided to sack him,” said Musleh.
But Nadaf, who heads the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, disputed the announcement, saying that has not received a call or letter from the patriarch’s office informing him of the decision.
“I have not received any call or letter from the patriarch’s office,” Nadaf said.
Nadaf, along with several other Israeli Christian leaders, have been outspoken in their support for enlisting Christians in the Israel Defense Forces.
Recently, Israel announced that it would start sending volunteer notices to Christians of military age. Christian enlistment in the IDF has tripled over the past year, with nearly 100 Christians now serving.
“I welcome this important and historic step, where the IDF correctly determined and demonstrated that the Christian community is part of Israeli society, and chooses to integrate it into society as citizens with equal rights and responsibilities,” Nadaf said shortly after Israel’s announcement last month.