Evangelical leader: Israel is safest place on earth
Apostolate Renê Terra Nova, who has brought thousands of Christians from Brazil, tells 'Post' tourists leave "in love."
Apostolate Renê Terra Nova, the head of the International Restoration Ministries
in Manaus, Brazil, has brought tens of thousands of Christians to Israel over
the past 10 years and says that his followers “leave this country in love and
become ambassadors of Israel.”
Terra Nova, who is the leader of one of
the largest Evangelical communities in South America, has been coming to Israel
Visiting Jerusalem to accept an award for his activism by the
Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and the World Jewish Congress- Israel, the
preacher sat down with The Jerusalem Post on Monday to explain what motivated
him to bring so many of his followers to Israel.
After hearing a lecture
many years ago on the theological importance of the Jews and the “Holy Land,” he
said, he became convinced that the Jewish community has “a fundamental role on
After his first visit to Israel, Terra Nova began bringing
groups of pilgrims to the country.
“First of all, I became a Joshua, like
in the biblical account. I came to know the land and I came through the land and
I discovered that the fruits of the land were very good,” he said. “Israel is
the safest place on earth.”
By 2008, he said, he was leading as many as
2,500 people on pilgrimages. The other pastors in his extensive network also
began leading groups.
“It is difficult to measure how many people I have
brought here,” he said. “All of the pastors and apostles under me also bring
thousands of people to Israel. My followers talk about Israel with a lot of love
and they have a passion for the Holy Land and the Jewish people.”
Evangelical community, he continued, is “willing to be an army to fight for
Like many Christian Zionist leaders around the globe, Terra Nova
is hawkish on issues related to the peace process and territorial
Israel has enemies, he ventured, in order to give the Jewish
people an opportunity to control more land. “Every war is a seed for a
new territory,” he believes.
While there have been anti-Semitic incidents
reported in his home country, including the use of stereotypes of Jews as misers
on television, Terra Nova said he believes most Brazilians to be supporters of
Israel and that “in Brazil you have more friends than enemies.”