Christian Zionist Parade Through Jerusalem
Posted by Job on October 15, 2008
JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Christians from all over the world descended on central Jerusalem Wednesday in a colorful show of support for Israel. Waving the blue and white Israeli flag, the pilgrims marched in the annual Jerusalem parade honoring the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or Feast of the Tabernacles, which began Monday and ends Oct. 21.
The holiday march is the latest display of the growing alliance between evangelical Christians and the Jewish state. Christian Zionists are among the staunchest supporters of Israel, providing generous financial support and political backing. But some dovish Israelis are uncomfortable with the warm ties with evangelists because of their support for West Bank Jewish settlements and criticism of peace efforts with the Palestinians.
Israel’s are also deterred by what they see as the source of the unbridled support — a belief by some evangelical groups in a final, apocalyptic battle between good and evil, in which Jesus returns and Jews either accept Christianity or perish. The International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, a global organization that promotes ties between Israel and the world’s Christian communities, sponsored the event in which 3,000 people from nearly 100 countries participated. The march was part of a week of activities coinciding with Sukkot, which commemorates the 40 years Jews spent in the desert before arriving in the holy land.
Pilgrims from Brazil were among the most enthusiastic marchers, carrying drums and dancing. They cheered “We love you, Israel!” and Israelis lining the street shouted “Shalom!” in response.
Claire Perry from Mechanicsville, Va. was part of the American delegation. Wearing a T-shirt with the American and Israeli flags on front and “Bless Israel Team” on the back, she said she was came to bless Israel and deliver humanitarian aid supplies, adding that she felt “obligated to Israel for being able to share its salvation.”
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How ironic that Christians show support for the state of Israel when Jesus Christ was born to take on Israel’s role as the suffering servant and light of the world.