Over the coming week, more than 5,000 Christians from nearly 100 nations will be arriving in Jerusalem to take part in the 40th annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. The week-long festivities will take place from 13 to 18 October, and will once again constitute the largest Christian gathering in Israel this year and the largest solidarity mission to Israel of 2019.
“Over the past forty years, we have witnessed thousands of Christians from nations near and far coming up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles each and every year, in good times as well as difficult times,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “With this record of sustained success, it seems clear that the ancient tradition of Gentiles joining the Jewish people in Jerusalem for Succot has been revived in modern times. We are truly excited about welcoming this year’s colorful groups of Feast pilgrims from all over the world.”
The 40th annual Feast gathering will kick off on Sunday evening, 13 October with an outdoor meal and concert at the Ein Gedi oasis, along the shores of the Dead Sea. The festival then moves up to Jerusalem for the rest of the week of Succot, with most events held at the Jerusalem Pais Arena. Other highlights include the popular Jerusalem March through the streets of the capital on Thursday afternoon (17/10), the traditional Israeli Guest Night that same evening, and a concluding Prayer Vigil at the historic Tower of David inside the walled Old City (18/10).
The most popular annual event for Christian visitors to Israel, the ICEJ’s Feast is expected to inject around $18 to $20 million into the local Israeli economy.
Over the past four decades, the Christian celebration of Succot has brought together literally millions of Christians and Jews during this unique biblical festival of thankfulness and joy. Scores of Feast pilgrims from every corner of the globe have been greatly enriched by the dynamic worship experience and their direct encounters with the people and Land of Israel.
This year’s Feast program will feature a special presentation on the ICEJ reaching a milestone of assisting over 150,000 Jews in making Aliyah to Israel since its founding in 1980.
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was established during the very first Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in September 1980, at a time when the last thirteen national embassies had just left Jerusalem for Tel Aviv. In response, over 1,000 Christians from 32 nations attending that first Feast gathering decided to open the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem as an act of solidarity with the 3000-year old Jewish attachment to this city. The ICEJ has since grown into the world’s largest Christian Zionist ministry, with branch offices in over 90 nations and a reach into more than 170 nations worldwide.