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Thousands of Christians Celebrate Sukkot in Jerusalem


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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel is celebrating the biblical Feast of Sukkot when thousands of Christians from around the world come to see prophecy fulfilled and attend the Feast of Tabernacles celebration.

Shofars (traditional rams' horns) sounded at the opening of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem's (ICEJ) 38th annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem.

It's a gala event. Christian pilgrims, many dressed in national costumes, celebrating the Feast in Jerusalem.

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

This year, more than 5,000 Christians from nearly 100 countries are here for the weeklong celebration. They came to worship the God of Israel and stand with His people.

"I know it's going to be a life-changing experience," said Charity, a young woman from Vermont, who is here for the first time. "I love Israel and I think that it's a time when things are going to turn around and it's very prophetic and to be a part of being able to give back to the people that gave to us."

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

David Parsons, vice president of the ICEJ, told CBN News why Christians come up to Jerusalem at this time of the year.

"They're following the invitation of Zachariah 14 where it says that one day all the nations will come up to celebrate this biblical feast here in Jerusalem, to worship the Lord and keep the Feast of Tabernacles and we're showing up now as a statement of faith that that day is coming when the Messiah will rule here," Parsons said.

He said this year's theme – 'Dare to Dream' – comes from Psalm 126.

"'When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion we were like those that dream' and it's about the dream of Israel, all those centuries being restored back to the Land ending the exile, coming back here and we live in the day of Israel's restoration," Parsons said.  

"Israel's now 70 years old as a reborn state and there's much to celebrate. They've overcome many wars, terror attacks, rocket barrages, economic boycotts, other attempts to strangle it," he said.

As part of this year's celebration, people are getting the CBN documentary "To Life: How Israeli Volunteers are Changing the World." The film shows how Israel works to be among the first to respond to disasters and needs around the world.

"We're very happy that all the Feast pilgrims are going to go back with copies of it in English and we're partnering with CBN to also provide Hebrew copies to all Israeli guests to the Feast this week," Parsons said.

The excitement and joy at being here for the Feast is palpable. The Christians are definitely glad to be here.

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

Ludy Capuyan, is a Filipino caregiver here in Israel. She and her friends, also from the Philippines and also caregivers here, all came to the Feast.

"It's great. It's part of prophetic words from the Bible," Capuyan said.

"I came because I love Israel and I want to see the prophecies fulfilled," said Ray Landis, a first-time visitor from Vermont, USA. "We've just been studying the things of the Bible and it talks about how Jerusalem is going to be restored and Israel is going to be restored and we want to be part of that. It's amazing," said Landis, who hopes to be back again.

Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

Mario DeCosa, from Angola, is also a first-time visitor.

"I'm really delighted and thrilled at what I have been witnessed since yesterday evening and I think now I take with me a commitment to pray more for Israel, for the peace of Israel, for Jerusalem and even do more to mobilize more people to work toward the peace of Israel," DeCosa told CBN News.

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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 fulltime 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 and Samaria and