ICEJ welcoming 3,000 Christian pilgrims for Feast 2023Published on: 22.9.2023
Large Fiji delegation arriving on historic chartered flight to Israel
By: David Parsons, ICEJ Vice President & Senior Spokesman
Next week, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem will be welcoming to Israel some 3,000 Christians from more than 80 nations to attend its annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration. The variety of Feast pilgrims this year includes national delegations from nearby countries such as Egypt and Turkey all the way to a large group of Fijian pilgrims coming from the ends of the earth on a chartered flight of Fiji Airways, which will be making the airline’s first-ever landing in Israel.
The ICEJ’s eight-day Succot gathering runs this year from 29 September to 6 October, and will take the Christian visitors on a pilgrimage through the Land of Israel, starting with two evening concerts at En Gev on the Sea of Galilee, then up to Jerusalem for six days of exciting events, including a Communion service in the Garden Tomb, the colorful Roll Call of the Nations and the ever-popular Jerusalem March, plus a solidarity visit to the western Negev.
“We are privileged again to welcome the nations to Jerusalem for Succot, according to the ancient vision of the Hebrew prophet Zechariah,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “We trust that as they encounter Israel up close, they will return to their home countries with a deeper love for this nation and a fresh inspiration from God, in keeping with Isaiah’s prophecy that the word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem.”
Among this year’s Feast attendees are Fiji’s deputy prime minister Viliame R. Gavoka, who is leading his government’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem next year, along with cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, and dignitaries from many other countries around the world. The roster of prominent Christian leaders coming in for the Feast includes Dr. Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, and Dr. Enoch Adeboye from Nigeria, who pastors the largest church in Africa.
The featured speakers at the Feast will include Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, while President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver recorded greetings to the gathering, which once again will be the largest annual Christian tourist event in Israel this year.
Another special Israeli guest speaker will be IDF Brig. Gen. Avigdor Kahalani (ret.), who will appear on Israeli Guest Night as the Feast marks the 50th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. This traditional Feast event also will feature performances by musical artists from Israel and around the world in a joyous multi-cultural atmosphere and strong show of Christian support for Israel. Israeli Guest Night is open to all Israelis and will be held on Tuesday, 3 October 2023 at 7:30 PM in the Jerusalem Pais Arena.
The musical performances at Feast 2023 will feature a wide variety of local and international singers, musicians and dance troupes from Brazil, Fiji, Germany, Ivory Coast, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, an Israeli-Ukrainian klezmer band, a popular Israeli Arab vocalist, and an Iranian-born singer who will perform songs in Persian.
As the Feast winds up, the ICEJ will take hundreds of Christians to the Sha’ar HaNegev region for a solidarity gathering with local Israeli communities along the Gaza border, followed by a special ceremony in the Be’eri Forest to dedicate the new “Christian Embassy Nature Park.” The new park is a special project the ICEJ has undertaken in partnership with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund to re-plant a 126-acre section of the forest burned in recent years by aerial arson attacks from Gaza.
Besides the scores of pilgrims attending the Feast in person, tens of thousands of additional Christians will join the Feast on the ICEJ’s special online streaming platform.
There is still time for you to be part of this year’s Feast of Tabernacles celebration online. Register for the online Feast today at: feast.icej.org