For many, a visit to Israel - the Land of the Bible - is the dream of a lifetime. If you are planning to make this journey, here is some basic information and some travel highlights so that you are better able to prepare for this exciting trip.
BETHLEHEM The road to the church was empty. Shops in town were shuttered and dark. Rain soaked the city and freezing winds whipped through the cavernous streets. The journey to Bethlehem, the city of David where Jesus was born, was a harrowing excursion, even on Christmas Eve. This was the third Christmas since the latest intifada began in September 2000.
CHRISTIANS DRAWN TO ISRAEL TO PRAY FOR PROTECTION
Whether large groups or individuals, hundreds of Christians from around the world are answering the call to come pray for Israel's protection as war breaks out in Iraq.
CHRISTIAN LEADERS PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL, JEWS
JERUSALEM - Fresh, from Masada - a rare description of anyone just returned from the rocky Dead Sea fortress - and en route to dinner with Prime Ministerial aides, there was a spring in the step of these unassuming tourists as they entered the ICEJ late Saturday afternoon.
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalemis a worldwide, non-profit ministry with a prophetic calling to be a source of comfort to Israel and the Jewish people. The Bible is clear about the attitude Christians should have towards the Jews. Genesis 12:3 says we should "bless them." Isaiah 40:1 commands us to "comfort them." Psalm 122:6 says we should "pray for the peace of Jerusalem." Romans 11:31 tells us to "show them mercy."
In 1980, Christian supporters of Israel established the International Christian Embassy Jerusalemas a practical expression of the desire of believers throughout the world to bless and comfort Zion.
The Embassy opened after the international community condemned Israel for declaring united Jerusalem the "eternal and indivisible capital" of the reborn Jewish state. As 13 nations moved their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv due to a threatened Arab oil embargo, 1400 Christians from 40 countries decided to open their own Embassy in Jerusalem. It was an act of solidarity with the Jewish people's 3000-year-old connection to their holy city.
Today, Christians everywhere have an Embassy representing them in Jerusalem, an effective channel for their concern and love for Israel.
We believe it is Gods desire that Christians across the world be encouraged and inspired to arise to their prophetic role in the restoration of Israel. The Bible says that the destiny of the nations, of Christians and of the Church is linked to the way they respond to this work of restoration.
Israel is the target of hostility from many quarters. We believe that Christians must take a stand against anti-Israel and anti-Semitic prejudices, and counter lies with truth. As such, our approach may at times involve political stands, but these ultimately arise from biblical principles and convictions.
We are compelled by our faith to help protect the Lords people and to help preserve them for that time when the Lord will fulfill all of His promises to them.
ICEJ Christian Zionism Jerusalem
April 3, 2006