7,000 Christian Evangelicals parade through capital in annual Jerusalem March event

Some 7,000 Christian Evangelicals from more than 100 countries took part, along with thousands of locals, in an extravaganza of color, music and flags on Thursday in the annual Jerusalem Feast of Tabernacles March.

The parade is one of the central events of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s (ICEJ) annual celebration in Israel.

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Dozens of national delegations assembled in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park resplendent in their national costumes and carrying their nations’ flags. They wended their way through the streets of the capital down to the Liberty Bell Park next to the German Colony neighborhood.

Delegations came from locations ranging from the US to the Philippines, from the United Kingdom to South Africa and countless places in between.

The largest delegations were from Brazil with 900 members, and from Ivory Coast with 500, a figure that out-numbered the US delegation, according to the ICEJ.

The Feast of Tabernacles event is a five-day celebration for Evangelical Christians that takes place during Sukkot because of the Bible’s mention and inclusion of non-Jews in the holiday’s ceremonies.

“During the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, the Jewish people were to gather together in Jerusalem, not only to remember God’s provision in the wilderness, but also to look forward to that promised messianic age, when all nations will flow to this city to worship the Lord,” the ICEJ said in a statement.

Pastor Eliana Cabral, who was born in Brazil and has been a US citizen for the last 26 years and a participant in the march, is in Israel for the sixth time. She said she was supportive of the Jewish state because of the Bible’s injunction to love the people of Isra- el and to hasten the coming of Jesus as the messiah.

“We are supporting and praying for Israel, because if Israel is strong, then it will help bring Jesus for the second time. We are coming because we want to bring the Lord, who is Jesus, to the people, to Israel,” she said.

Eunice Jones, also from the US but originally from the Philippines, said she was here “by the Grace of God,” and had come to show love for the people, to pray for them, to bless them and to join in fellowship with the people.”

Said Jones “We believe that God has chosen Israel as the chosen people and that this land here is where he is going to come in the end, Jesus, the messiah. We’re waiting for the messiah, whether its the first time for Jews or the second time for Christians.”

A number of Jewish religious leaders in past years have called for Jews to avoid the ICEJ event, saying the organization is looking to convert Jews to Christianity. However, officials from the group insist they have a policy against proselytizing in Israel.

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