After nearly three years away, Christian tourists return to Israel for ICEJ holiday
After an absence of nearly three years, Christian tourists return to Israel for ICEJ holiday celebration
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL — The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) expects more than 2,000 Christian tourists to return to Israel for the annual Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) celebrations, starting Oct. 9.
Over the past two years, tourism has been heavily restricted in Israel, as it was almost everywhere, due to COVID shutdowns.
The expected turnout encouraged the embassy staff.
“After all the travel bans around the world in recent years, the response from our global audience has truly been incredible,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “Our Feast is a clear signal that Christian tourism to Israel is back.”
The embassy will welcome participants from 70 countries, including government officials and dignitaries from Africa, Europe and Latin America. They will also welcome singers and musicians from countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Finland, Ivory Coast, Fiji and Iran, as well as local Israeli artists.
Normally, Feast celebrations are held in Jerusalem, but for the first time in more than 40 years, ceremonies will open in northern Israel at Capernaum National Park, followed by five days of events in Jerusalem, including the Jerusalem March in the streets of the capital. The events will end in the Negev region, near the Gaza border, which will include a rally in solidarity with those who resisted the terrorist attacks.
“We especially want our Christian pilgrims to witness the incredible positive spirit emanating from these Israeli communities despite all they are facing,” Dr Bühler said. “We know this will inspire our Feast participants to confront and overcome the many crises plaguing their own lands in these troubling days.”