On October 1, Christians from all over the world gathered in Jerusalem during the Sukkot festival for a special prayer event for Jewish sovereignty and freedom on the Temple Mount. They came from a stunning array of countries, including Canada, Congo, Finland, Holland, India, Iraq, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
Participants gathered at the Goldman Promenade, next to the UN headquarters and overlooking the Temple Mount. 300 international supporters came to show unity with the Jewish people and to pray for peace and justice on the holiest place in the world, the Temple Mount. The event made history. This is the first time in nearly 2,000 years that Christians have ever publicly supported Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount in such a way. Tragically, in the 4-5th centuries, the Christian community of Jerusalem was praying against, and even rioting against, Jewish access to the Mount!
Lars Enarson, a Christian leader from Sweden and Cry For Zion co-founder, led the event. They prayed for a change in the status quo on the Mount, an end to abuse of Jews and ban on prayer, and that the nations of the UN should take heed: “Neither the UN in New York, nor the International Law centers of the Hague have any right to claim the role that belongs to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. ‘For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the L-rd from Jerusalem’ (Isaiah 2:3–4).”
The Christians chanted “Change the status quo!” and prayed for Jews to be allowed increased ascent to the Mount this year. A Finnish representative said: “Not only should there be the cry of the campaigns ‘Let my people go!’ We need a campaign of ‘Let my people in!’ to the Temple Mount.” Christian leaders spoke of the great need for increasing awareness and understanding of the Temple Mounts in the Christian community.
Muslim hecklers nearby and workers at the UN began chanting “allahu akbar,” and the rally responded by resoundingly citing the words of 1 Kings 18:39, “The L-rd, He is God! the L-rd, He is G-d!” and, “Shema Israel!”
This Christian prayer rally was organized by Cry For Zion, an organization based both in Israel and the United States, which works with the Jewish as well as the Christian community for the common goal of justice on the Mount. Many wonderful organizations in Israel work with the Temple Mount, but few bring the support and voice of the Nations in a tangible way. Founded by both Jewish and Christian activists—Doron Keidar, Lars Enarson, and John Enarson—Cry For Zion seeks to meet this need in a respectful way.
The Cry For Zion rally continued by marching in the annual Jerusalem March with the message “Cry For Zion: Let the Jews Pray on Mt Zion!”—a reference to the Temple Mount. Supporters from Scandinavia who had participated in the march in previous years said that they had never received such a warm reception from Israelis as when they marched this year in solidarity with Jewish rights on the Mount.
Sadly, the Jerusalem Municipality would not allow supporters to march with their banner “For Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount,” and they were left to show their support from the sidelines. The banner was, however, much appreciated by multitudes of marchers from the world over, showing strong undercurrent of Christian support for the issue.
Cry For Zion ended the day by hosting a fantastic speech by Rabbi Yehuda Glick at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, while French-German BFM TV filmed the event as a part of their ongoing documentary about the Temple Mount. Rabbi Glick received standing ovations as he recounted why he continues working for his life’s passion of the Temple Mount, even after his near assassination just outside the center last October. “My heart is touched” by initiatives like Cry For Zion, Rabbi Glick told the Christian audience. He marveled that a year ago, just before he was shot, he had wondered how this message would reach a greater audience than the Jewish religious community.
This pioneering event in Jerusalem, was the first of many initiatives by Cry For Zion, bringing the voice of the nations in various ways, in support of Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount. Cry For Zion expects the annual event to more than double in attendance next year. Next Year in Jerusalem!
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Photos: Doron Keidar