In honor of the Sukkot holiday, which begin last week on Monday evening, the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) has published its annual list of Israel’s Top 50 Christian Allies.
The diverse list spans continents and denominations and includes prominent leaders such as Christians United for Israel founder Pastor John Hagee, as well as lesser-known figures such as Dr. Young Hoon Lee, who serves as senior pastor in South Korea at the world’s largest mega-church.
Former political leaders are also among the honorees, such as Mike Pence, who as U.S. vice president was active in moving the U.S embassy to Jerusalem, as well as Mike Pompeo, who defended Israel’s rights to Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria while serving as U.S secretary of state. Both Pence and Pompeo were members of the Israel Allies Caucus during their tenures as U.S. Congressmen.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visits the Western Wall. Credit: Vice President Mike Pence official Twitter page.
Leaders of Christian organizations and individuals who provide significant financial assistance to the State of Israel, especially for Holocaust survivors, the needy and immigrants, are featured as well.
Many Christians feel a special connection to Sukkot, which they refer to as the Feast of Tabernacles, because of the verse in Zechariah 14:16 which foresees a time when individuals from all nations will come to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday.
In a typical year, when regular air travel is permitted, thousands of Christians from all over the world travel to Israel to celebrate Sukkot and hold festive parades and events in Jerusalem.
Thousands of Christian Evangelists and Israelis march at a Sukkot parade in central Jerusalem, Oct. 17, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
“Recognizing the heroic work of our Christian supporters is an important display of our hakarat hatov [‘gratitude’] towards them,” said IAF Director 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,” he added.
The IAF is an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 50 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world, and includes over 1200 legislators, 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.
Christian leaders selected for this exclusive list conveyed their deep support for the State of Israel.
Pastor Sandor Nemeth, founder and Senior Pastor of Faith Church in Hungary, explained, “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 as a self-evident reality. And what a blessing it is to see the fulfillment of the Zionist dream, the prosperity of Jerusalem, and the mutual benefit these relations bring to the nations globally!”
Dumisani Washington, founder and CEO of the Institute for Black Solidarity, said, “As a Christian pastor, I stand with Israel because the Bible tells us to bless Abraham’s seed and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I stand with Israel because Israel is, in the words of Dr. King, ‘an oasis of brotherhood and democracy’ and ‘we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist.’”
Dumisani recently published the second volume of his book, Zionism & the Black Church: Why Standing with Israel Will be a Defining Issue for Christians of Color in the 21st Century.
Full list of Israel’s Top 50 Christian Allies in 2021: