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The Gaza War is a ‘game changer’ for Israel, Gaza and the Church

‘Not enough to say we love Israel, we need actions,’ ICEJ President tells NRB attendees

Dr. Jürgen Bühler, President of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ), giving a speech at the NRB’s Breakfast Honoring Israel (Photo: ALL ISRAEL NEWS)

Israel and Gaza have changed in many ways since the Hamas invasion of Oct. 7 – but it also needs to be a “game changer” for the Church, the president of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ), Jürgen Bühler, said on Thursday.

Living through the traumatic events in Israel, Bühler witnessed how the Hamas invasion and massacre changed Israeli society in the last four months.

One of these effects was the complete loss of trust in the peace process among formerly left-leaning Israelis, Bühler said at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) “Breakfast to Honor Israel” this week.

“You need to understand that the Gaza envelope communities… are not the typical settler image of people with kippahs. They are very liberal leftist people.”

When Bühler recently met a friend who is a prominent peace activist in Israel, she told him in a slightly joking manner: “I don’t believe in any peace anymore. I don’t want to see any Palestinians anymore.”

Moving away from what remained of the former so-called “peace camp,” Israeli society is becoming markedly more conservative and is turning to religion, Bühler observed.

As the once universally-trusted Israeli army crumbled under the Hamas onslaught, Israelis stopped believing in the IDF’s leadership. At the same time, they have been seeing many miracles in the battles against Hamas.

“Once this war is over, you will hear one miracle story after the other,” Bühler said. “My son keeps telling me whenever he comes home, he says, ‘Daddy, either Hamas are really the worst shooters in the universe or God is protecting us.

Accordingly, many Israelis, especially soldiers, are turning to religion. To illustrate his point, Bühler played two videos of IDF soldiers singing and dancing to popular Israeli songs declaring faith in God, and God’s faithfulness to his people.

“And please note this is not a Pentecostal worship gathering, but this is an army camp,” Bühler joked.

His son, who is serving in a combat role in the IDF, told him that before they went into Gaza, perhaps 10% of soldiers were praying regularly.

Coming back from the fighting, Bühler’s son told him, “Daddy, it’s reverse now, maybe 10% of them are not praying.”

Bühler emphasized: “We see the nation is turning towards their God.”

The war in Gaza and the massive destruction it brought on the enclave is also an opportunity for it to eventually change for the better, Bühler noted, comparing it to the destruction in his native Germany after World War 2.

“My father always told me, 'Jürgen, we have to be thankful for what America did to our nation. They brought us on their knees in order to eradicate every form of Nazism and Hitlerism in Germany.”

In this current situation, Bühler stressed, there is a major opportunity for Gaza. He also told this to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently, he noted.

“I told him, don’t leave Gaza ever. Invite Christians to come in, build schools, build hospitals so that they can educate a new generation like America did it 75 years ago. In my country, we are today the most stable democracy in Europe, and I believe the same can happen.”

However, the true opportunity is not the material but the possible spiritual change for Gaza. “We are praying at the ICEJ every day that God would release 4,000 missionaries to Gaza to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Bühler said.

He added that Oct. 7 should be a game-changer for the Christian church.

“Let me be very frank this morning. It is not enough anymore to say we love Israel or we stand with Israel. We need actions today. We need the Church to stand up and pray for Israel like never before.”

In addition to prayer, Christians can actively help by donating money for evacuees from Israel’s Gaza and Lebanon borders, as well as for bomb shelters, ambulances and more.

“And lastly, please speak up,” Bühler said, calling on the Christian leaders in attendance

“I’m very concerned that in our Christian countries and nations, more Muslims are on the streets demonstrating against Israel than Christians who are standing up for Israel. Help us to reverse that. Help us that Israel sees their friends all over the world.”

“We need to show Israel today like never before that we are standing on their side,” Bühler concluded.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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