Israel National News / Sep 30, 2023 - In honor of Sukkot, the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) published its annual list of Israel’s Top 50 Christian Allies. The diverse list spans many continents and denominations, and includes prominent activists and leaders from both religious and political spheres.
Representing effective advocacy and support of Israel, former US Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo features at the top of the list, followed by Brazil’s 38th president, Jair Bolsonaro. As congressman, Pompeo served as a member of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus; and as Secretary of State, he actively supported Israel’s right to Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea, and Samaria. Like Pompeo, Bolsonaro has consistently been unapologetically pro-Israel and brought the relationship between Brazil and Israel to new heights.
Among the notable honorees in Christian ministry is Bishop John Drew Sheard, Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle of the Church of God in Christ, the largest African American Pentecostal denomination in the United States. In 2022, Bishop Sheard led a contingent of almost 150 delegates and 30 representatives of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women on a tour of Israel — the first official Israel visit by COGIC’s top leader.
The list also pays tribute to Christian leaders, such as Joni Lamb, who provide significant financial assistance to the State of Israel. Lamb is co-founder of the popular Christian Daystar TV Network, through which she hosts television specials to raise awareness, money. and support for the State of Israel, as well as providing care for aging Holocaust survivors via her organization, Daystar House of Hope.
Bible-believing Christians feel especially connected to Sukkot, which they refer to as the Feast of Tabernacles, because of the verse in Zechariah 14:16, which foresees a time that individuals from all nations will come to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. Thousands of Christians from all over the world travel to Israel to celebrate Sukkot and hold festive parades and events in Jerusalem.
IAF Director Josh Reinstein said, “We are honored every year to recognize these incredible men and women of faith from across the world. They are Israel’s greatest friends and most loyal allies. It is due to their years of hard work that we are seeing embassies moved to Jerusalem, antisemitism called out, bomb shelters built, pro-Israel policies enacted at the highest levels of government - the impact of their support is truly limitless.”
The IAF is an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 53 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world in order to mobilize political support for Israel based on shared Judeo-Christian values. This network includes the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, and the European Union Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus. The IAF considers the moving of the U.S, Guatemalan, Honduran and Papua New Guinea embassies to Jerusalem as direct results of the Christian politicians who have advocated for these issues as well as the Christian voters who have demonstrated that these issues will impact the direction of their vote.
Christian leaders who were selected to be a part of this exclusive list conveyed their deep loyalty to the State of Israel which stems from their faith. Pastor Paula White, American televangelist and former Advisor to the White House on Faith & Opportunity Initiatives, explained, “My deeply held faith and conviction has aligned me to stand with and support Israel in every possible way. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob made a covenant with the Jewish people and promised them a nation. That nation, Israel, is the foundation and birthplace of my Christian faith. I also stand with Israel for geopolitical reasons. Since 1948, the nation of Israel has been America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East. I proudly support Israel and the Jewish people.”
Dr. Jürgen Bühler, President of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), expressed his love and support for Israel, saying, “It is so exciting to see God rebuilding Zion, to see Him restoring His people back to their land. No matter where you live, you too can participate in what God is doing here in the Land of Israel.” The ICEJ’s main objectives are to stand with Israel in support and friendship, and to teach the worldwide Church regarding God's purposes with Israel and the nations of the Middle East.
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