Former vice president Mike Pence took the first slot in the Israel Allies Foundation annual list of Top Christian Allies. The list was released on Monday in honor of Sukkot.
“Recognizing the heroic work of our Christian supporters is an important display of our gratitude towards them,” said IAF President Josh Reinstein. “It is only due to Christian political support for Israel, which we refer to as faith-based diplomacy, that Israel enjoys such steady support from its allies around the world. It is Christians, not countries, that we can count on to always stand with Israel.”
The rest of the top five slots were taken by Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel; Pastor Larry Hutch, founding pastor of New Beginnings Church in Dallas Texas; Stephen Harper, the former prime minister of Canada; and Christian philanthropist Dick Saulsbury.
Pence was selected, the IAF said in a release, because of his role in the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and for his defense of the right of Israel to Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria. Pence was a member of the Israel Allies Caucus during his tenure as a US congressman.
The names were released on Erev Sukkot because many Christians are especially connected to the Feast of Tabernacles, their name for the Jewish holiday. This connection comes from a verse in the Book of the Prophet Zecharia that describes a time when people from all the nations of the world come to the Holy City and celebrate and pray together at the foot of the Temple Mount.
“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,” it says in Zecharia 14:16.
Zecharia is read in synagogues on Sukkot.
In a typical year, when the world is not plagued by COVID-19, thousands of Christians from all over the world travel to Israel for the holiday and to march in the historic March of Nations in support of the Jewish state. The event culminates in a colorful ceremony at Sacher Park.
The IAF list highlights supporters from around the world, spanning many continents and Christian denominations. For example, Dr. Young Hoon Lee, a senior pastor in South Korea at the largest megachurch in the world, made the list at spot No. 27. In addition, Pastor Sandor Nemeth, founder and senior pastor of Faith Church in Hungary, is No. 13.
“For me, standing with the modern State of Israel and supporting the Jewish people, in general, comes naturally and should be reflected in the life of every Bible-reading, God-fearing Christian believer worldwide,” the pastor said.
The full list can be viewed online at israelallies.org/israels-top-50-christian-allies-2021
The IAF is the umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 50 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world, which comprise 1,200 legislators. The network includes the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the European Union Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus.
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