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Christians, Jews Gather to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, Israel – An estimated 90 million Christians worldwide joined in the Day of Prayer for Peace of Jerusalem praying in more than 170 countries.

This year, some 1,000 Christians from around the world gathered with Christian and Jewish leaders at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem for the main event that was broadcast live on God TV.

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

They prayed for the peace of Jerusalem ( ) and worshiped the God of Israel in song and dance.

Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles' Wings Ministry, serves as the event's chief organizer.
"So the day of prayer for the peace of Jerusalem in Jerusalem was inaugurated in 2005 when Pat Robertson graciously flew over here and spoke at the very first day of prayer," Stearns told CBN News.

The annual event brings together Jews and Christians to follow the biblical injunction in . "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you."

"Since that time, the first Sunday in October is now celebrated as the day of prayer for the peace of Jerusalem in 174 nations around the world. Our materials have been translated into 39 languages," Stearns explained.

Organizers say there are many reasons to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

"Jerusalem is the root of our faith. Jerusalem in a sense is the city of both our spiritual birth and of our spiritual hope. We believe that this is the city where the government of God will rule and reign over the nations and so every Christian has to take part in preparing the way of the Lord for His presence in this city," Stearns said.

Josh Reinstein, director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus said God wants Jews and Christians to keep Jerusalem close to their hearts.

"Now the Jewish people believe that He asks Jews and Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem is because He always wants us to take the issue of Jerusalem and keep it close to our heart. He wants us to think about Jerusalem. He wants us to teach our children about Jerusalem and so we take that very seriously," Reinstein said.

Pastor Joe Green, senior vice president of Eagles' Wings Ministry said Christians need to understand their place.

"We need to understand that we are grafted into this incredible place called Israel and Christian churches all over America, they have forgotten that," Pastor Joe Green told CBN News.

"What we want to do is bring awareness to who we really are. We don't exist without the Jewish people or the Jewish state. We're not around. Jesus was a Jew. All the apostles were Jews and so our goal is to somehow bring us back to biblical Christianity and blessings on this incredible place. We absolutely have an honor privilege to bless," Green said.

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

Popular Christian artists, including Eddie James and Misty Edwards, led the worship. Jewish leaders thanked Christians for their support.

Knesset member Michael Oren encouraged Christians to stand up for the Jewish state

"There are a lot of international bodies who would deny the Jewish connection to this city – our common history, our common traditions – and we have to unite together…We may have different ways of expressing our faith but it's the same thing. And it's the same history, and anybody who would deny that there was a Jewish temple up there is denying Jesus. And that has to sink in," Oren said.

Rabbi David Nekrutman with the Center for Jewish, Christian Understanding & Cooperation (the first Orthodox center in the world to create this), said it's a crucial at this point in time for Jews and Christians to come together.

"More than any other time in history, Jews and Christians need to come together because not only is the world isolating Israel on the state, even Christianity's movements are isolating Israel on the world stage," Rabbi Nekrutman said.

Keynote speaker Rabbi Marc Schneier, former chief rabbi of New York and rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue, believes it's a miracle that Jews and Christians can come together.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

"If you look at the history of Christian-Jewish relations for close to 2,000 years, we suffered from persecution by the Christian community. Think back to the Crusades, the Inquisition, even the deafening silence of the Church while millions were murdered in the Holocaust, so we're living in miraculous times. And one of those miracles is the reconciliation between our two faith communities and I believe that we're also celebrating that here today," Rabbi Schneier told CBN News.

Despite differences, genuine friendship is replacing suspicion between them Stearns said.

"We see for the first time in 2,000 years of Church history Jews and Christians having walls of suspicion come down and genuine friendship and cooperation come between Jews and Christians – not pretending that we don't have theological differences because we do. We're divided regarding the identity of the Messiah, but we are united in praying and believing for the coming of the Messiah, soon and quickly in our day," said Stearns.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel full-time for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism, then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91, and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and the