Evangelicals in Brazil show strong support for Israel in annual March for Jesus

March for Jesus in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2017 (Photo: screenshot)

The Brazilian capital of Sao Paulo was host to a huge display of support for Israel during an annual Christian march on May 31.

Some 2 million Brazilians and other pilgrims from Argentina, Mexico, the United States and some African countries who attended the March for Jesus waved Israeli flags and prayed for the Jewish state in the parade that stretched 2.5 miles through the city.

Dori Goren, Israel’s consul, and Zelia Sliozbergas, president of the local B’nai B’rith branch, joined the evangelical Christians, the first time in 20 years that a Jewish official was invited to attend. 

“Attending the march is our way to express our gratitude for the evangelical people and the Brazilian people,” Goren said. “The people of Israel bless Brazil and the evangelical people of Brazil.”

The consul told the crowd that he expected to see the Brazilian embassy move to Jerusalem soon, following the transfers of the American, Guatemalan and Paraguay embassies fromTel Aviv to the Israeli capital last month. They crowd applauded in agreement. Goren said that in 1947 Brazilian diplomat Osvaldo Aranha presided over the United Nations vote in favor of partitioning the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab.

“There is a very important alliance between Brazilian Christians and the State of Israel,” Gorel told Gospel Prime news website. “It was a blessing to be able to see the affection of Brazilians for their country and that it was a great celebration of friendship between the two peoples.”

Estevam Hernandes, the founder of the March for Jesus, said the march is not meant to be a political platform, “but we pray for everyone.”

The March for Jesus, established in 1993, is one of Brazil’s largest religious events. Brazil is home to the world’s largest Catholic population, the second-largest overall Christian population after the U.S. and the ninth largest Jewish community in the world, about 120,000, according to Beit Hatfutsot.