TEL AVIV (JTA) — Thousands of evangelical Christians from dozens of countries gathered in Jerusalem for a pro-Israel conference.
Participants in the six-day Feast of Tabernacles conference will parade through Jerusalem’s streets on Thursday, a day before the conference ends. The attendees are from 80 countries — including some historically hostile to Israel, such as Egypt — and several continents, according to the The Associated Press.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a videotaped address to the conference.
There are an estimated 700 million evangelical Christians worldwide.
“We feel that their support is genuine and not deriving from any ulterior motive,” Akiva Tor, head of the Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions in the Foreign Ministry, told AP. “When there are large numbers of Christians who are interested in visiting Israel and understanding Israel — that of course is very, very helpful toward improving our international standing.”