In honor of Sukkot (the Festival of Tabernacles), the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) published its annual list of Israel’s Top 50 Christian Allies.
The diverse list spans many continents and denominations, and includes prominent leaders such as Christians United for Israel founder Pastor John Hagee, as well as lesser-known figures such as Dr. Young Hoon Lee, who serves as senior pastor in South Korea at the largest megachurch in the world.
Former political leaders are also among the honorees, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, who was active in the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, as well as Mike Pompeo, who defended Israel’s rights to Jerusalem, the Golan, Judea, and Samaria while serving as US Secretary of State. Both Pence and Pompeo were members of the Israel Allies Caucus during their tenures as US Congressmen. Leaders of Christian organizations and individuals who provide significant financial assistance to the State of Israel, especially for Holocaust survivors, the needy and immigrants, are featured as well.
In its top ten, the list includes:
1. Mike Pence
2. Pastor John Hagee
3. Pastor Larry Huch
4. Stephen Harper
5. Dick Saulsbury
6. Nikki Haley
7. Mike Pompeo
8. Jimmy Morales
9. Roger Staubach
10. Dr. Pat Francis
Bible-believing Christians feel especially close to Sukkot which they refer to as the Feast of Tabernacles because of the verse in Zechariah 14:16 which foresees a time that individuals from all nations will come to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. In a typical year, when regular air travel is permitted, thousands of Christians from all over the world travel to Israel to celebrate Sukkot and hold festive parades and events in Jerusalem.
IAF Director Josh Reinstein said “Recognizing the heroic work of our Christian supporters is an important display of our hakarat hatov (gratitude) towards them. It is only due to Christian political support for Israel, which we refer to as faith-based diplomacy, that Israel enjoys such steady support from its allies around the world. It is Christians, not countries, that we can count on to always stand with Israel.”
The IAF is an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 50 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world, including over 1,200 legislators, in order to mobilize political support for Israel based on shared Judeo-Christian values. This network includes the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, and the European Union Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus.
The IAF considers the moving of the US, Guatemalan, and Honduran embassies to Jerusalem as well as the anti-BDS legislation now in almost 35 US states, as direct results of the Christian politicians who have advocated for these issues as well as the Christian voters who have demonstrated that these issues will impact the direction of their vote.
Christian leaders who were selected to be a part of this exclusive list conveyed their deep support for the State of Israel which stems from their faith.
Pastor Sandor Nemeth, founder and Senior Pastor of Faith Church in Hungary, explained, “For me, standing with the modern State of Israel and supporting the Jewish people in general comes naturally and should be reflected in the life of every Bible-reading, God-fearing Christian believer worldwide a self-evident reality. And what a blessing it is to see the fulfillment of the Zionist dream, the prosperity of Jerusalem, and the mutual benefit these relations bring to the nations globally!”
Similarly, Dumisani Washington, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Black Solidarity said, “As a Christian pastor, I stand with Israel because the Bible tells us to bless Abraham's seed and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I stand with Israel because Israel is, in the words of Dr. King, 'an oasis of brotherhood and democracy' and 'we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist.'”
Dumisani recently published the second volume of his book, Zionism & the Black Church: Why Standing with Israel Will be a Defining Issue for Christians of Color in the 21st Century.