Thousands of flag-waving evangelical Christians from dozens of countries marched in Jerusalem on Thursday as part of annual religious celebrations that are also a show of support for Israel.
Many evangelicals see Israel’s existence as a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy, and a pilgrimage to the holy city is auspicious at this time with the Jewish Sukkot festival taking place from Sept 23 to Sept 30 as well as Christianity’s Feast of the Tabernacles.
Thursday’s parade was festooned with Israeli flags, as well as those of the native countries of the marchers, many of whom also wore their traditional national garb.
Israeli police said more than 7,000 people took part in the march which the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a main organiser of the event, described as an “expression (of) our solidarity with Israel”.
US President Donald Trump’s evangelical base, as well as conservative American Jewish voters, helped persuade him to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year – a move that infuriated Palestinians who want it for their own future state.