President Rivlin
President Rivlin Flash 90

President Reuven Rivlin addressed the annual conference of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, emphasizing the importance of interfaith cooperation after the announcement of a joint initiative to stop the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.   

Rivlin delivered his speech in front of a crowd of 4,500 Christian supporters of Israel, who came from dozens of countries around the world, as well as the 30 parliamentary members who participate in advocacy for Israel around the world. 

Throughout, Rivlin stated that "Christian support" was vital to "create together a world of mutual respect, mutual admiration, tolerance and cooperation."

"My family and I believe that Jews, Christians and Muslims should live together, side by side," he stated. "This is our destiny."

"Today, in an era of instability, this vision is true more than ever," he added.

The President referred to the values ​​shared by Jews and Christians, and said that "our societies, who share common values ​​of love for human beings and acceptance of others, should continue to cooperate to create a shared vision."

"The relationship between the Zionist and Christian worlds has historical roots," he continued. "Throughout history, the Zionist movement has gained the support of various religions, and this friendship grows stronger, in order to serve the world."

Rivlin also said that "the Jewish people had a dream to build a home in its native country, a democratic Jewish state. This dream has come true thanks to friends like you." 

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder, who also spoke at the conference, criticized the silence of world leaders at the persecution of Christian in Islamic countries in the Middle East.

"There is no safe place in the Middle East for Christians aside from Israel," he said. "Here, Christians can pray in public without fear for their lives."

"But at the same time, 122,000 Christians were killed in the Middle East and Africa," he continued. "Tens of thousands are deported every year.  We should not remain silent in front of anti-Semitism, and we must not remain silent while Christians are being persecuted."

"I am furious about the silence of present world, that genocide against Christians in the Middle East is overlooked," he added. "We know what happens when you are silent."

Lauder added that along with the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, there is an increase in anti-Semitism in Europe.

"Those who come out against us, will also turn against you, so Jews and Christians must work together," he urged. 

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