The group leader is Richard Booker, a Christian minister and the Founder/Director of the Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies who will be participating in the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) Feast of Tabernacles extravaganza this coming Sukkot holiday. First, however, he will lead a tour of devoted followers on a tour of northern Israel - including a visit to an Israeli army base.
The tour's promotional literature states that during the visit, "we will have the opportunity to get acquainted with IDF soldiers and give gifts of encouragement." The visitors also plan to have lunch with the soldiers, and will proceed from there to "our adopted Children’s Center for the underprivileged. We will distribute warm winter outfits to the kids and help them build their sukkah."
Teachings by their leader, however, show a distinct dissonance between the love he shows the Jews and the fate he foresees for them. Booker has written about what he calls "The Jews' Final Holocaust," predicting what has been known as a "convert-or-die" scenario. At the end of days, he writes, "hundreds of thousands of Jews will have come to accept Jesus as their Messiah. This will come about through the preaching ministry of 144,000 Jewish evangelists whom God will call especially for the purpose of preaching the gospel during the tribulation period... The Antichrist will march his troops into Israel and for a short period of time will occupy Jerusalem. Every nation will support his retaliation against Israel for their disturbing world peace. The Antichrist will kill two-thirds of all the Jews. This could mean that up to ten million Jews will be killed..." (quoted from his book, Blow the Trumpet in Zion.)
Jerusalem City Council member Mina Fenton has written a letter of protest to IDF Chief Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Avi Ronsky about the planned visit. The letter states:
"On Sept. 25, a group of Christians led by Minister Richard Booker is scheduled to visit soldiers at a base in the Golan, Brigade 82. They say they will have a chance to 'get acquainted with IDF soldiers and give gifts of encouragement' - code-phrases with religious meaning... The phenomenon of Christian groups visiting army bases is, unfortunately, a common one. Of late, one group was caught actually distributing missionary literature. How can this happen? Are there no rules governing who is allowed to visit? Is there anyone in the military framework who checks and understands who the missionaries are? This is a very sensitive and dangerous issue. They feel freedom and strength; they come with money and gifts, and gates and doors open right up! This phenomenon must be stopped."
Anti-missionary activist Pastor Kenneth Rawson of New Jersey has written that the above teachings of Richard Booker and others are "Horrific! ... It is inconceivable that Evangelical Christians can look the Jewish people in the eye and tell them they are their friends, yet have such a deceptive diabolical agenda for them. This agenda is both unthinkable and unscriptural... How can these Evangelical Christians claim such friendship for Israel when their theology is so hateful to the Jews?"
ICEJ Media Director David Parsons told Arutz-7 in response that his organization "absolutely rejects any 'convert-or-die' theology; we do not believe this is God's way." He also said it was made clear to all Feast of Tabernacles participants that all forms of missionary activities are forbidden at the event.