Christians gather for Succot in Jerusalem

Thousands flood to the Holy City to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

FEAST of Tabernacles 370 (photo credit: Courtesy ICEJ)
FEAST of Tabernacles 370
(photo credit: Courtesy ICEJ)
With the arrival of the biblical festival of Succot in late September, it was time for Israel’s largest annual tourist event, the Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, organized every year since 1980 by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.
This year over 5,000 Christians from some 90 nations arrived in Israel to take part in “the Feast,” including a special delegation of 25 parliamentarians from 17 nations. These mainly evangelical Christians came from not only Western countries but also from such distant and diverse lands as Bolivia, Botswana, and Cambodia. Continuing a recent trend, more than half of the Feast pilgrims came from Latin America, Africa and Asia. This year the Feast theme was “The Spirit of Grace and Supplication,” taken from Zechariah 12:10.
During their stay, the participants attended seminars and tours, as well as evening programs notable for their pageantry in music and dance. One evening of the week-long celebration was designated “Israeli Guest Night,” featuring special performances geared for the enjoyment of an invited Jewish audience. The Israeli guests were entertained by an orchestra, choir and talented dance team gathered from all over the world. Rev. Umar Mulinde from Uganda, a Christian pastor who converted from Islam and had acid poured over his head by Muslim extremists 10 months ago because he stands with Israel, made a moving appearance on stage.
Mulinde, who is having his face reconstructed free-of-charge at the Sheba Medical Center special burn unit, spoke about the wonderful kindness he has experienced in Israel and his love for the country. The director of Sheba Hospital was also present and was given a donation of $10,000 by the International Christian Embassy for Sheba’s medical tourism program.
The Feast culminated with the popular Jerusalem March through the streets of the capital.