AUS Rally-Hay Mate Poster-Photo Courtesy of David Southwick MP Australia
By: ICEJ staff

The many national offices of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem have been busy over recent weeks holding or taking part in rallies and conferences in support of Israel around the globe. Here are recent reports of ICEJ activities and events in just some of our branches worldwide, including Australia, Colombia, Norway, Panama and the Philippines.

Christians in Australia Rally for Israel

ICEJ-Aus joins mass rally in Melbourne to stand with Israel
ICEJ-Australia joins mass rally in Melbourne to stand with Israel

The Australian branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been working with the Never Again Is Now movement and other groups to stage large pro-Israel rallies over recent weeks in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, with upcoming rallies planned in Brisbane and Perth in June. The rallies also aim to combat rising antisemitism in Australia and are being held under the slogan: “Stop the Hate, Mate!”

There were over 7,000 supporters of Israel at the rally outside Parliament House in Melbourne, which was very impressive considering the very cold, rainy weather. The colourful gathering featured hundreds of green and yellow umbrellas all declaring, “Stop the Hate, Mate” A large group of counter-protestors tried to harass those standing with Israel, but the Victoria police did well in preserving calm.

Moises Vasquez, ICEJ-Australia’s Youth Ambassador, noted that the rally’s speakers included former prime minister Scott Morrison and other politicians, Christian leaders from all denominations, Jewish community leaders, indigenous representatives and cultural influencers, who were all keen to publicly support Israel and denounce antisemitism.

“There was a wonderful atmosphere of love and joy among the crowd,” said Karen Wilson of ICEJ-Australia. “It was made up of a diverse group of Jews, Christians, secular, Iranian, young and old. They came with a single message that hatred for any group based on religion, ethnicity or culture, and especially antisemitism, is unacceptable in our society.”

ICEJ joins large pro-Israel rally in Colombia

Several ICEJ representatives recently participated in a massive “Colombia Blesses Israel” rally with over 7,000 attendees held in Santa Marta, the oldest city in America. The gathering was prompted by the leftist government’s decision to suspend relations with Israel over the Gaza war, and signalled that there is still widespread Christian support for Colombia’s traditional friendly ties to the Jewish state.

Claudia Fierro speaking at pro-Israel rally in Santa Marta Colombia
Claudia Fierro speaking at pro-Israel rally in Santa Marta Colombia

“There was so much opposition, with the President of the country threatening to boycott the event,” said ICEJ Spanish language coordinator Claudia Fierro. “But God is stronger! The Jewish community in Colombia was surprised, as they had no idea that so many Christians support them!”

The rally in Santa Marta also was attended by ICEJ representatives Valeria Ashllian from Argentina and Yeni Moreno from Panama. Both were interviewed along with Claudia Fierro by the national Christian TV channel Canal Territorio, which was covering the pro-Israel gathering.

Earlier, ICEJ-Colombia national director Pastor Héctor Pardo had arranged a solidarity meeting with the Israeli Ambassador, but he was recalled to Jerusalem last minute due to the government’s unfortunate decision to cut ties. Instead, a meeting was arranged with the Chief Rabbi of Bogota, Alfredo Goldschmidt, who warmly received an ICEJ delegation at his home.

Claudia Fierro adds that while many Christians in Colombia support Israel, some local churches are reluctant to speak out because of fear of government retaliation, threats from militant pro-Palestinian activists, and the biased coverage of Israel in the media.

Norway Rally protests rampant antisemitism and anti-Israel bias

In mid-May, ICEJ-Norway joined with other Christian, Jewish and secular organisations to hold a demonstration in front of the Parliament building in Oslo to speak out against hatred of Jews and Israel. A number of politicians and community leaders addressed the rally in support of Israel and the Norwegian Jewish community. The rally was held in response to the government and media’s failure to confront the growing antisemitism and anti-Israel atmosphere in the Nordic country.

Already in 2012, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued an alarming report on the high levels of anti-Israel attitudes in Norwegian society, which they warned could fuel further antisemitism. The OSCE report urged the foreign ministry in particular to “promote a civilized discussion about the Middle East conflict and react to those who in the debate demonise the state of Israel.”

“Unfortunately, this report was largely covered up and ignored, as for decades the Norwegian media has been extremely biased against Israel in its coverage of the Middle East,” said ICEJ-Norway national director Dag Øyvind Juliussen. “This anti-Israel coverage has been led by the state channel NKR, and after October 7 our society is struggling with rampant antisemitism because of decades of biased coverage against Israel.”

Regional conference in Panama builds Christian-Jewish friendship

20 International Delegates at the ICEJ-Panama Regional Conference
20 International Delegates at the ICEJ-Panama Regional Conference

In March, Dr. Mojmir Kallus, the ICEJ’s Vice President for International Affairs, travelled to Panama for a Latin American regional conference, where he shared the ministry’s vision and how it is being implemented during the current war by emphasizing prayer, giving and solidarity with Israel. The conference was organised by local representative Yeni Moreno and her team, and was attended by national representatives Dr. Luis Solares from Guatemala, Marco Zevallos for Panama and Peru, Mauricio Bolanos from Costa Rica, Valeria and Daniel Ashllian from Argentina, Cesar Folgar from Peru, Fedra Bonnels from Colombia, plus guests Luis and Adeline Velarde from the Dominican Republic.  

Most participants met face-to-face for the first time, and informal fellowship was an important feature of the meetings. They exchanged experiences, shared ideas, prayed together, and encouraged one another. Yeni Moreno was appointed as the new regional coordinator for Latin America, taking over from Claudia Fierro, who will return to the Jerusalem staff as head of our language coordinators.

In addition to the conference for ICEJ regional leaders, a rich program of additional meetings and activities was planned. The group visited the Israeli embassy in Panama, and were invited by the Israeli Ambassador for a special screening of a new documentary about the October 7 attacks. They also visited the Shevet Achim synagogue, and met with Edwin Alvarez, pastor of Hosanna, one of the largest churches in Central America with over 10,000 members. And, of course, they took a tour of the Panama Canal.

It was evident that Yeni Moreno enjoys extraordinary relationships with both the Israeli embassy and the local Jewish community. The meeting at the synagogue was arranged to honour pro-Israel Evangelicals, with dozens of pastors in attendance. All Jewish speakers were very warm in their remarks about the Christian Embassy. It was an unforgettable event, showing an extraordinary level of trust and friendship between Jews and Christians in Panama.

Two years ago, Yeni started a project called “Flags and Friendship” in cooperation with the Jewish community. Together, they distributed over 1,000 Israeli flags to churches who pledged to pray for Israel. This project can easily be replicated in other countries in Latin America and elsewhere.

The experience underlined an important dimension of our global ministry. We witnessed valuable local initiatives with significant impact. There is great potential for pro-Israel support in Latin America, a continent with hundreds of millions of Evangelical Christians. They could play a key role in standing with the Jewish nation in these difficult times, as we have recently seen in Argentina.

ICEJ-Philippines hosts Asia-Pacific regional conference

ICEJ Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Manila
ICEJ Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Manila

ICEJ-Philippines recently organised and hosted an Asia-Pacific regional conference in Manila attended by Christian Embassy representatives from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Dr. Mojmir Kallus, Vice President for International Affairs, came from Jerusalem to give an update on the current situation in Israel and teach about the importance of the Kingdom of God and the calling of Israel as a nation. The ICEJ’s new Southeast Asia regional coordinator Jehu Chan also came from Singapore to stress the need for stronger Christian support for Israel in Asia. Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss also was on hand to bring a warm greeting on Israel’s behalf. About 50 local Christian leaders also attended the sessions, and for many it was their first introduction to the work and ministry of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

ICEJ representatives from throughout the region had the opportunity to get to know each other personally and share about their successes and challenges. A prophetic word came forth from Isaiah 54:2 about expansion of the Embassy’s reach in Asia, which confirmed a similar vision by ICEJ-Philippines national director Pastor Stephen Mirpuri. Indeed, the region of Southeast Asia is poised to play an increasingly important role within the ICEJ’s global network.

The Philippines, the only Asian country with a Christian majority, already has distinguished itself as taking the largest number of hours each month during the Rosh Chodesh global prayer chain, with 140 hourly slots filled every month at present. The gathering heard many exciting testimonies from dozens of Christian leaders active with the 24/7 Rosh Chodesh prayer vigil. 

Main photo: David Southwick, MP Australia