South African Christians to hold nationwide prayer for Israel

Hundreds of South African Christians are expected to gather in significant towns nationwide next Sunday to offer prayers for both South Africa and Israel. They intend to show solidarity with the Jewish state and to disassociate themselves from what they perceive as South Africa’s unfounded accusation of genocide against Israel.

“Many of the Christian community are deeply unhappy about the allegations being leveled by our government on Israel,” explained Philip Rosenthal, director of ChristianView Network, who will participate in the afternoon of prayer. “We believe in Genesis 12 that this will bring a curse on South Africa unless we distance ourselves from it. So we will do that, and we have been doing that very strongly.”

The February 25 afternoon of prayer is organized by Time2Rise South Africa and will begin at 4 p.m. at various locations throughout the country. Each session will include a prayer for Israel, a declaration against the International Court of Justice case against the Jewish state, and a prayer for Divine intervention in South Africa.

Sessions are already scheduled in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, and Potchefstroom, and more are expected to follow.

South Africa’s Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola at the ICJ on January 11. (credit: THILO SCHMUELGEN/REUTERS)

Last month, ahead of the International Court of Justice trial, Christian leaders throughout South Africa sent an open letter to the government in opposition of its decision to take Israel to court on charges that it is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The letter writers accused their government of “victim blaming” and “direct support of Hamas’s tactics.”

The Christians received a response from South Africa’s Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, who represented that country’s case in The Hague, and were offered a meeting. However, that meeting has yet to take place.

The aim of the day of prayer 

Pearl Kupe, a member of the Time2RiseSA advisory board who is helping to plan the event, told The Jerusalem Post that part of the purpose of the day of prayer was to show the world that “not everyone in South Africa does not like Israel or supports Palestine. We want to make our voices heard and clear.”

Rosenthal seconded this sentiment, adding that while he cannot say that citizens opposing the genocide charge are the majority, “there is a substantial group of leaders that are behind us,” including most Christians and Christian organizations, as well as some of the country’s opposition political parties. 

The organizers of the event said they had informed the police of their plans, given that they were attacked in November by violent anti-Israel citizens when they marched for the Jewish state in Cape Town. 

“In a so-called democratic country, we should be afforded the same right and freedom to express our faith and values in support of Israel,” Kupe said. “We hope we will be able to pray and protest peacefully.” 

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