Christians 'believe in Israel's right for security'
Photo: Visual/Photos

Christians: Here to serve Israel

International Christian Embassy receives Pentecostal delegation; 'my father served Hitler, I lobby for Israel,' says leader

Some 70 Christian delegates from around the world met at the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem Wednesday evening to express solidarity with the State of Israel, and to convey the message that the Israeli people were "not alone."


The meeting was held to welcome representatives of the Pentecostal European Fellowship (PEF) to Jerusalem. Pentecostalism is a growing Evangelical sect in Europe, and millions of Christians are members of the movement.


Ingolf Ellssel, Chairman of the PEF's Board of Directors, told the meeting: "Over the past decade, we realized we're not getting the full picture (on the Middle East) from the European media. So we had to come to see for ourselves."


Ellssel said his delegation was briefed by the Foreign Ministry on the situation.


"We are the second largest church in the world, impacting 650 million Christians," Ellssel said, adding: "The latest numbers indicate we have 35-40 million charismatic Pentecostal Christians around the world."


'My father served Hitler' 

Ellssel said his visit to Israel was especially important because of his personal history, as well as his religious belief.


"My father served Hitler, and lost 16 years of his life. After his imprisonment, he found Jesus. So I was aware of the churned relations with the people of Israel. In the 1970s, when one country after another was removing its embassy for Jerusalem, I was aware of the prophetic words about the people of Israel, and I am happy to witness the prophecy being fulfilled," he said.


"Otherwise, you can't explain how people living for 2000 years in Diaspora maintained their national identity," Ellssel added.


"We as Christians are living in a time in which we must wake up. We must organize ourselves and become a lobby for these people. That's why we are here," Ellssel added.


Shaya Ben Yehuda, Director of Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem's International Relations Division, said he was moved by the visit of the Christian delegations.


Addressing Ellssel, Ben Yehuda said: "It was moving to hear you, Mr. president, speaking about your father. It makes me think about my grandfather, my family, what happened to them during those darkest days."


"We are all created in the image of God. We Jews, Christians, share this from the bible. Your act, to come here during difficult days, is touching," Ben Yehuda said, adding: "It's not just the State of Israel, it's the whole of civilization that is at risk... Jews and Christians are really together. What is in danger is our right to live according to what the Lord told us."


"You are the modern righteous of this generation. You will all be blessed, and you will have a place of memory in the house of the Lord," Ben Yehuda told the delegates, who responded with warm applause.


"Unbelievable, that we see two grandsons come together. It's a miracle in Jerusalem." said Malcolm Hedding, Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy.


"This tragedy (the Holocaust) came out of Christian Europe," he added, explaining that the International Christian Embassy is a partner of Yad Vashem.


'10,000 African Christians prayed for Israel'  

"This is a new phenomenon, that out of the Evangelical Christian world, there is a lot of support and understanding for Israel. This phenomenon is not located in Europe alone. We can tell you with a great deal of certainty that this is a world wide movement," Hedding added.


Describing a mass prayer session held in Africa for Israel, Hedding recounted: "At the beginning of this year, I had the privilege of attending a very special conference in Nigeria, attended by 10,000 African leaders. The unforgettable thing is, they had this incredible love for Israel. They burned themselves out all day, praying for hours and hours for Israel..."


Speaking to Ynetnews, Hedding said the Christian Embassy had no wish to interfere in Israel's strategic territorial decisions. "We stay out of it. This is a democracy. It's not a theocracy. The International Christian Embassy does not dictate to the Jewish state where or how it should draw its borders or express her sovereignty," he said.


"We are however totally dedicated to the fact that Israel has the right to exist here in peace and security. And wherever Israel draws her borders and decides to defend herself, we will stand by her and all her people. So we are here in the defense of the Jewish state, and we support the Jewish state's right, democratically, to sort out its problems. We are here to serve you, and not to dictate to you," Hedding added.


פרסום ראשון: 11.02.06, 16:46
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Christians: Here to serve Israel"
This will delete your current comment