Sukkot Event a 'Dress Rehearsal' of Zechariah 14
JERUSALEM, Israel -- As Israel faces pressure from all sides, support from its friends means more than ever. That support in large part is coming from evangelical Christians around the world.
Some 5,000 Christians from more than 80 nations visited Jerusalem this week to celebrate the biblical Feast of Sukkot.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the visitors at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem's annual Feast of Tabernacles event.
"Dear friends, thank you, thank you for coming up from year to year to worship the King, the God of hosts Thank you for standing with us," Netanyahu said. "The fact is Israel has no better friends around the world. You give us support at all times and especially in times of distress."
ICEJ Director Jurgen Buhler believes as the number of evangelical Christians increases so does the potential to bring about political changes in Israel's favor.
"They read the Bible about Israel. They love Israel. They want to pray for Israel. They support Israel," Buhler told CBN News. "They talk to their government leaders about Israel and we saw over the last years even that some of those African nations, they changed legislation which were intended against Israel. They said we don't want this to take place in our country."
Maayan Jaffe is a reporter for the Jewish News Service.
"There are growing numbers of Christians in countries where they will impact the parliaments, impact voting in the United Nations and the best thing we can do for ourselves politically is to take advantage of those opportunities and not focus on what we have different from one another but focus on what we have in common," Jaffe told CBN News.
The ICEJ's Feast of Tabernacles is Israel's largest annual tourist event. The embassy calls it a kind of dress rehearsal of Zechariah 14 when the Bible says one day all nations will come to Jerusalem to worship the King.
"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." (Zech. 14:16)