Dr Mike Evans

Sukkot is a time to remember God's faithfulness, even in a world of COVID

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, was special historically. It was the holiday on which all nations pilgrimaged to Jerusalem, not just the Jewish people.

For the past three decades, until the COVID plague, thousands of Christians from around the world have come to Jerusalem every fall to celebrate the festival, also known as the Feast of Booths, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

This year, the Feast of Tabernacles celebrations move online due to the coronavirus. In addition, the ICEJ will also be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. This will be the first time in four decades the feast was unable to be held in Israel.

“We were expecting a record crowd for this year’s special anniversary Feast of Tabernacles celebration in the largest hall in Jerusalem,” said ICEJ president Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “So we have moved the event online and our Global Feast package will now feature more content, with more international speakers and worship artists, and more seminars and lectures than we have ever offered before.”

In a normal year, the annual celebration hosts some 5,000 Christians from over 100 countries, who hold a colorful parade through the streets of Jerusalem. Considering the restrictions on travel, the recent closure and isolation orders upon entering Israel, it was not feasible to hold the celebration in Israel this year.

The online festival will hold seven daily live broadcasts, streamed from locations around Israel, to be aired on Christian television networks across the globe. There will also be an online conferencing platform hosting 125 seminars and virtual tours.

“For the past forty years, we have seen first-hand God’s faithfulness in restoring Israel, and in expanding our ministry around the world,” Bühler said. “The relationship between Christians and Israel has radically changed compared to when we were founded in September 1980, and we are humbled and thankful to be part of this historic reconciliation.”

In 2015, I had the privilege of founding and opening the Friends of Zion Museum in the very heart of Jerusalem with the late ninth president of Israel, Shimon Peres, as the international chairman. The goal of the museum is to educate its hundreds of thousands of guests and nearly 70 million global supporters about the Christian Zionists who assisted and supported the Zionist dream over the years.

The museum is more than just a recording and telling of significant events in history. It is the mission of the Friends of Zion Museum to also honor those who stand up for justice in defending Israel and the Jewish people today. Our international media center disseminates messages strengthening Israel in the unending battle against antisemitism worldwide and BDS in particular.