As many as 7,000 Christians, including the heads of Evangelical Christian communities, are in Israel to celebrate the Christian Feast of Tabernacles from September 23 to 29, which roughly coincides with the Jewish festival of Succot.
The local Feast of Tabernacles event is sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem with assistance from the Ministry of Tourism.
During the week-long program, the thousands of pilgrims from about 100 countries participate in seminars and classes. They come from places like Brazil, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Austria, India, Italy, Nigeria, Finland and Norway.
In addition to visiting holy sites around the country, they will join in the traditional and colorful Jerusalem March on September 28.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov hosted a festive reception for all the heads of the Christian communities and presented a gift to Evangelical minister Renê Terra Nova from Brazil, who brought about 1,000 pilgrims – the largest group – to the event.
Misezhnikov said: “… the ministry operates in all spheres in order to turn these pilgrims into ambassadors for tourism to Israel in their home countries.”
Overall income from the visit is estimated at between $15 to 20 million.