The eleventh of November marks ten years since the death of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader, regarded as a heroic freedom fighter by many Palestinians and a terrorist by many Israelis.

The first time RT Kendall was granted rare access to Arafat, the Christian writer and speaker told Arafat he had prayed for him every day for 20 years. According to Kendall, the 20-minute appointment turned into an hour and 45 minutes, and an unlikely friendship began. 

The third time Kendall visited Arafat, the pair watched The Passion of the Christ together, along with 30 members of the PLO. Arafat wept during the viewing and allowed Kendall to pray for him at the end. During each of his five visits, Kendall was able to speak to Arafat about Jesus’ death and resurrection, and of how to accept Christ. Kendall said that, despite Arafat’s translator attempting to intervene, the Arab leader was open to hearing about Jesus and the gospel.

‘It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in heaven,’ said Kendall. ‘I’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.’

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