Israel’s Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana welcomed Evangelical Christian leaders worldwide on Wednesday to the 2023 Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, which he described as, “The beating heart of Israeli democracy, where there is never a dull moment.”
Nearly 400 attendees representing 50 nations attended the breakfast this year for Israel’s 75th anniversary of independence, celebrating “the fulfillment of a 2,000-year-old prayer,” Ohana said.
Ohana talked about the common thread between Jews and Christians – the power of prayer as an individual, a community and a nation – and its profound impact.
The fact that prayer brings all of us here has a profound meaning. It unites us, transcending borders and religions. Prayer has also the ability to connect us deeply to our Judeo-Christian heritage, reinforcing the values we cherish and principles we uphold, such as the sanctity of life, personal integrity and justice,” he told the audience.
“This is why the bond between Israel and our Christian friends is unbreakable,” he said, followed by a round of applause.
The speaker of the Knesset said that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where “Christian communities are growing and can feel safe, prosper and practice their faith freely.”
“Only 76 years ago, a joint prayer like this was not possible,” Ohana said. “The State of Israel didn’t exist. For 2,000 years, Jews worldwide prayed to return to their promised land, the Holy Land. We were scattered all over the globe, but our longing and our prayers have always united us.”
Jews around the world have shared the very same prayers for 2,000 years, Ohana said: ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’
“That prayer – filled with emotion and passion – was eventually answered and realized before our very eyes," he said.
This is the seventh annual Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast (JPB) and will be taking place from May 31 to June 1 in the nation’s capital. Each year, the JPB brings together government leaders and influential Christian leaders from around the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
The event host, Knesset Member Matan Kahana, Israel’s former minister of religious affairs, addressed the audience of Evangelical leaders at the afternoon session on Wednesday.
“A few days ago, some extremists, demonstrators shouted at a group of visitors to the holy places,” Kahana said.
“I would like to emphasize that shouting at the people who are the great supporters of Israel is counterproductive. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for this behavior on behalf of the Knesset,” he added. “My friends, all I have left to say to you is thank you. Thank you for what you do for us. You are true friends. Thank you.”
ALL ISRAEL NEWS will be providing additional coverage of the two-day event this week.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.