The Atlantic

White Evangelicals Used to Dominate Christian Zionism, but Not Anymore

Why thousands of Christians from across the globe travel to Jerusalem each year to celebrate a Jewish holiday
Source: Jani Salonkangas / ICEJ

JERUSALEM—The scene was like a contemporary Christian music concert, but with a lot more Jewish swag. European pilgrims wore Star of David jewelry as they swayed among the palm trees of Ein Gedi, an oasis in the Judean desert. Spanish delegates sported matching “España loves Israel” T-shirts. A tiny woman from China jogged around waving a person-sized flag bearing a Hebrew word for God, while another Chinese woman periodically blew a giant shofar, the ram’s horn that is sacred in Judaism. The crowd sang songs from the Psalms, following transliterated Hebrew on giant television screens. As night fell, their chorus of “holy, holy, worthy, worthy” seemed to fill the desert.

This was the opening ceremony for the 2017 Feast of the Tabernacles, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s annual celebration held during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. More than 6,000 Christians from all over the world had come to show their love for Israel, and I tagged along with ICEJ

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min readSociety
When Abuse Victims Commit Crimes
New laws in New York and elsewhere could keep women out of prison for crimes against their abusers.
The Atlantic5 min read
The Complicated Cliché of ‘Bran the Broken’
Game of Thrones, which always commented on the social effects of disability, ended by selling its final twist as inspirational.
The Atlantic7 min read
The Modern, Secular Godparent
As Americans become less religious, some families are still looking for a mentor for their kids, albeit not a spiritual one.