About two million Christians took to the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, last Thursday, for the annual March for Jesus.
The crowd cheered for Israel, waved Israeli flags and prayed for the Jewish state and for the first time in nearly 20 years, Jewish officials were invited to attend the event, including Israel’s consul Dori Goren and the president of the local B’nai B’rith branch, Zeila Sliozbergas.
“Attending the march is our way to express our gratitude for the evangelical people and the Brazilian people,” said Goren, addressing the gathering from the stage. “The people of Israel bless Brazil and the evangelical people of Brazil.”
The consul received applause for saying that he expected to see the Brazilian embassy transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem soon. He recalled the role of Brazilian diplomat Osvaldo Aranha, who presided over the United Nations vote in 1947 in favor of the resolution that partitioned 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 the 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.”
Pilgrims from Argentina, Mexico, the United States and some African countries joined the event, a 4km parade surrounded by sound trucks playing gospel music.
Global evangelist Andrew Palau, son of Luis Palau, was the featured speaker. Focusing his message on John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” – Palau ended his message with a clear call to faith and repentance. The sea of hands that raised in affirmation to his call was evidence of the impact of the Word. He went on to imploring those who had publicly confessed Jesus Christ to dig into Scripture, get their roots deep into a local church, and pursue God daily. The local participating churches will work over the next several weeks to connect with and disciple those who made decisions.
Established in 1993, Sao Paulo’s March for Jesus is among the biggest religious events in Brazil, the country with the world’s largest Catholic population and second-largest Christian population after the United States.
Sao Paulo is home to half of Brazil’s 120 000-strong Jewish community.