- (Photo: Christian Post via www.jerusalembanquet.org)
The Jerusalem Prayer Banquet, to be held in New York City next month and feature former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as a guest speaker, promises to offer attendees a new perspective on the importance of Jerusalem for people of all faiths.
The event was organized by Eagles' Wings, a global mission community with a network of supporters in Germany and Jerusalem founded by its executive director Dr. Robert Stearns.
"The mounting crisis in the Middle East makes this the most important Jerusalem Banquet we have ever hosted," Stearns, also an expert on Israel-Christian relations, explained in a press release.
"A nuclear Iran poses a threat not only to Israel, but also to the United States. When combined with the tragic civil war in Syria and the increasing instability of the Middle East, the need for an informed response by America's Christian leaders has never been more pressing," he added.
Stearns shared in a phone interview with The Christian Post Tuesday that the ultimate goal of this year's conference is to tell people to pray exactly the way Scripture instructs – for the peace of Jerusalem and the world.
"Jerusalem is a very important, and perhaps the most important microcosm of our world today. And so our prayer is that we will speak forth truth in the hopes of peace," the Eagles' Wings founder said.
He explained that there are two new perspectives he expects people attending the event will leave with.
"First of all, I hope that people will realize that people of every background – Jewish, Christian, Muslim, agnostic, people of every background who believe in human rights and human freedoms, [will] find themselves linked together in the question of Jerusalem's future. I am hopeful that will be a new perspective for some," said Stearns.
"Second, a sadder one, is that we must link arms and hearts together as never before because the enemies of human rights and the enemy of religious freedom are very much advancing in this moment of history," he added, pointing to Iran as an "enemy" of human rights.
Elaborating on what former Gov. Huckabee will bring to the prayer banquet, Stearns said that what differentiates the current Fox News host and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful from other political speakers is that he is from the very heartland of America and has visited and spent time in the heartland of Israel.
"Gov. Huckabee helps connect heartland Americans to heartland Israelis. He deals with the simple truth of basic people trying to live their lives. He is a helpful bridge of friendships," the founder expressed.
Christian leaders including Jack Hayford, Frederick K.C. Price, Pat Boone, John Hagee, and Harry Jackson have all participated in past events, as well as Jewish leaders Harvey Krueger, Irwin Hochberg, Ron Plotkin, Shimon Erem of the Consul General of Israel, and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ido Aharoni. Participants of this year's event have not been confirmed.