European Christians voice support for Israel [p.5]

A delegation of European Christian leaders from the Pentecostal European Fellowship has voiced their unflinching support for the State of Israel. "We regret that certain churches are considering divesting from Israel, while we've also seen some nations in Europe stepping away from Israel," said PEF Chairman Rev. Ingolf Ellssel during a solidarity trip to Israel hosted by the pro-Israel International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. The umbrella organization represents over 40 denominations across Europe and has nearly five million members. Most Pentecostals are Evangelicals. "Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Europe have a tradition of praying for and engaging with Israel, but we are determined to harness our rapidly growing movement to do even more for the Jewish people and their embattled nation," he added. Ellssel estimates that there are now as many as 34 million Christians on the European continent who identify themselves as Pentecostals or Charismatics, the fasting growing segment of Christianity, with some 625 million followers worldwide. Ellssel's group is seeking to organize this expanding constituency into a lobbying force in Europe that will also be able to positively impact European relations with Israel. "Our agenda will include more than prayer and words of support, but practical measures such as encouraging business investment in Israel and Christian tourism to the Holy Land," Ellssel said.