Thousands of Christians travel to the Holy Land each year to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and discover the land of the Bible. Israel is undeniably the ultimate destination for those seeking to embrace a deeper connection to their faith. The country is full of sites that are significant to both the Old and New Testament, historically and religiously. Here is a list of 10 must-visit sites for Christian tourists in Israel.
Also known as the Way of Sorrows, the Via Dolorosa follows the path Jesus took from his trial to his crucifixion, and finally to the tomb where he was laid to rest. Today, there are 14 Stations of the Cross that mark this route. Pilgrims can stop at each point and reflect on the pain of Jesus's journey. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has released a series of videos this week lauding killing of innocent civilians in Jerusalem, and is calling on its followers to increase attacks.
In the eight videos the group urges lone wolf attackers to: "Bring back horror to the Jews with explosions, burnings and stabbings. ... Time is running out, so brother, struggle hard. We have only life, and it is Allah who gave it to us," according to Al Bawaba.
Militants are also seen celebrating the Palestinian knife attackers who enacted violence against Jews in Jerusalem in recent weeks. Donning a mask, the militant told the knifemen "not to forget explosive devices," and to "continue fighting the Jews with all possible means." more >>
As a South African, I have visited the Holy Land several times at the invitation of Jewish as well as Palestinian friends and it grieves me to say that the similarities between Apartheid South Africa and Israel today are stark. I feel retraumatized every time I visit Israel, and here is why:
The policies pursued by the Israeli government deliver the same result on the ground as those practiced by Apartheid South Africa: pain, suffering, discrimination and no hope that things will change.
This is because once one accepts the fundamental belief that others belong and others don't, government actions and laws must cohere with that foundational belief. The fact that the Israeli narrative is clouded by legitimate security needs does not justify the dispossession of others by military might and cannot be rationalized by religion into a political framework without disastrous results. more >>
The tomb of biblical patriarch Joseph has reportedly suffered severe damage in the West Bank city of Nablus after hundreds of Palestinian rioters set fire to the holy site early Friday morning.
"This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority's occupation is no different than that of Islamic State," claimed Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Liberman accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting the rioters to burn down holy and historical sites, paralleling that to the actions of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria. more >>
Thousands of Evangelical Christians from over 80 countries reportedly flocked to Jerusalem this week for the Feast of Tabernacles to show support for Israel, and anticipate biblical prophecy centered on the eventual return of Jesus Christ.
"The Bible says, the Word of the Lord will go out of Jerusalem to the ends of the Earth," said International Christian Embassy Jerusalem Director Juha Ketola. "Today the ends of the Earth are coming back to bless the Jewish people!"
The Associates Press reported that the summit, based on the ancient biblical festival, reached its apex on Thursday with the Jerusalem Parade. The Feast of Tabernacles is the Christian term for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which is marked by a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. more >>
In a controversial speech delivered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Israel top Imam Sheikh Muhammad Ayed said European countries accepting refugees in the ongoing migrant crisis are not doing it out of compassion but out of a need for workers, and warned that it will only help the spread of the Islamic caliphate.
"(The infidels) want us to be tormented. They want us to be humiliated. (The Quran says): The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you but we will never follow their religion. This dark night will be over, and soon, we will trample them underfoot, Allah willing," said Ayed in a clip of his address posted on YouTube on Sept. 11.
"Germany is not a compassionate country that wishes to absorb refugees from Syria and Iraq and Palestinian refugees in the Levant and elsewhere. Europe has become old and decrepit, and needs human reinforcement," he continued, before asserting that Germany was only interested in refugees because of its need for workers. more >>