Originally published in CBN News
Uganda may be the next country to officially move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Israeli media reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Uganda next week, but it is unclear what the meeting is for.
While a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry refused to confirm the Post’s report, a Ugandan pastor said he has heard rumours of an upcoming embassy move.
“I got a note from sources that Uganda is moving the embassy,” said Pastor Drake Kanaabo, who ministers at the Redeemed of the Lord Evangelistic Church Makerere in Kampala, Uganda.
“On a spiritual level, Uganda regards Israel as the mother of Christianity,” he added.
Uganda has a strong relationship with Israel. The country’s president is an evangelical Christian. Pastor Kanaabo says many Christians are praying for the Jewish State. Now, many want their government to take a firm symbolic action.
“Ugandan Christians are no longer standing on one leg for Israel, but two — in prayer and action. Israel is the only first-world country that is near to Uganda and Africa.”
In 2016, Netanyahu visited Uganda to honour his brother who was killed 40 years earlier in an anti-terror raid in Entebbe.
If Uganda moves its embassy, it will be the fourth country to do so after the United States, Guatemala, and Paraguay.
Christian support for Israel has been very visible in Uganda in recent times according to a report in Jerusalem Post this week stating that thousands of believers across Uganda have been singing, marching, waving Israeli flags and praying for Israel as part of different programmess supported by various Christian groups, which include Christians for Israel and Intercessors for Uganda.
“If a sleeping Giant don’t wake by himself, the Lord will wake him up,” wrote Pastor Kanaabo on Facebook. “Someone shout Hallelujah!!!”
Kanaabo, according to his website, has ministered in more over 51 nations around the world. He has been serving at Redeemed of the Lord since 1982. He was instrumental in planning the recent pro-Israel events.
So far, activities have included an Israel-Uganda prayer walk on Friday, January 24, in Mbarara and a “Prophetic Connection Conference” the next day, also in Mbarara. This week, a second walk was scheduled to take place on Tuesday and a second conference on Wednesday. Both of those events were set to be held in Masaka.
“How much faith do you have in God?” asked Kanaabo in a separate Facebook post. “Is all things possible? is God of Israel your God?”
Daniel Yehuda, an Israeli musician who hosts mass singing events for Jews and Christians, was in Uganda last year for similar events and brought with him 11 suitcases of Israeli flags. He described a sea of thousands of people “getting together and praying for us.”
“It is amazing,” he said. “People getting together to bless Israel.”
Dean Bye, head of the Canada-based Return Ministries, also helped support the programme. He is currently in Uganda and spoke to The Jerusalem Post via WhatsApp.
“The past one-and-a-half years, we have been doing our part encouraging the Uganda Christian Church to stand with Israel in many ways,” Bye wrote. “They are responding with eagerness in great numbers. They are identifying with Isaiah 18:1-7 as a ‘smooth-skinned people, living in a land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,’ called to bring their wealth to Israel.
“Many came to learn, pray and sing and participate in blessing Israel,” he said.
Bye became involved in outreach to Africa after reading what he calls the “prophetic words” of Isaiah chapter 18: “Woe to the land of whirring wings along the rivers of Cush, which sends envoys by sea in papyrus boats over the water. Go, swift messengers, to a people tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers. All you people of the world, you who live on the earth: When a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it.”
In a video, Bye explains that he has been heading to Uganda to help the people that live along the Nile River “understand their calling and purpose,” which is to return to God and support Israel.
Return Ministries encourages Jews and Christians to work together to fulfill what it believes are God’s plans and purposes for Israel and the nations. Its website describes it as “focused on building bridges between Jewish and Christian Communities and mobilizing the church to understand and embrace God’s call to bless and serve Israel and the Jewish people.”
The website also includes a section of “clarity for our Jewish friends,” which explains that, despite it being a “Christ-centered, prophecy-fulfilling ministry… Return Ministries is not a proselytizing missionary institution” or a messianic Jewish institution.
“Israel is the homeland of Jews and Christians, the land of the Bible, the land of our faith,” Christians for Israel Uganda said in a release following the Mbarara events. “We are fulfilling what the Israeli prime minister said when he visited Uganda: Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel.”