YASSER Arafat, the former Palestinian leader, may have become a Christian before his death 10 years ago, it has been claimed.
RT Kendall, a prominent Christian writer and speaker, said he struck up an unlikely friendship with Mr Arafat and prayed with him several times.
In an interview with Premier Christianity magazine, published in the UK, Dr Kendall said Mr Arafat had wept while watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which depicts the crucifixion, and that they had spoken about how to become a Christian.
He said that while he could not be certain that Arafat was “saved”, he believes he may have become a Christian.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in heaven,” he said.
’ll tell you why – I prayed with him five times, anointed him with oil, I gave him a [salvation] prayer.
“I’m not saying I know that he’s saved; I’m saying I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Dr Kendall said he had prayed for Mr Arafat for many years before finally being granted a meeting in 2002 during a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
What was intended to be a brief 20-minute appointment lasted almost two hours and turned out to be only the first of five meetings, he said.
On one such visit he said that they watched The Passion of the Christ together, along with around 30 of Mr Arafat’s aides.
Dr Kendall, the former minister of Westminster Chapel in London, says that Mr Arafat wept during the viewing and allowed him to pray for him at the end.
“He took my hand and squeezed it,” he said.
“He was sending me a signal and I knew I was getting through.”