Thousands of Christians march to Union Buildings singing ‘Viva Israel!’

By Nicola Miltz — Originally published in SA Jewish Report

Christians unite for Israel in Pretoria on Wednesday (PHOTO: Julian Pokroy).

Thousands of Christians took to the streets in Pretoria on Wednesday in a solidarity prayer rally for the State of Israel.

Their message to the government was loud and clear: No Israel, no vote.

“Enough is enough. The government has pushed us too far.” These are the words of Masindi Mmbengwa, leader of the Unity Fellowship Church, who expressed his Christian movement’s support for Israel. He said millions of South African Christians were opposed to the government’s continued plans to sever ties with Israel, adding that it was time the government “took notice”.

“We are going to retaliate… this march is the beginning of the real war and we are going to say NO!” he said.

Co-Chairman of South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), who organised the rally, said downgrading ties with Israel “will be contrary to South African foreign policy, which has always called for engagement with all parties [involved] in a conflict”.

This has been the consistent of stance of the South African government in all conflicts including Africa and beyond for the last 24 years.”

After blessings from various Chritians leaders, Swartz succesfully handed over the petition signed by over 41 000 people to a representative of the presidency. The petition calls for the Government to cease efforts to sever ties with Israel and re-instate the South African Ambassador to his rightful place in the Holy Land.

A petition with over 40 500 signatures was handed to a government official at the Union Buildings, calling for the government to cease efforts to sever ties with the State of Israel and to reinstate South Africa’s ambassador to Israel.

Signatories to the petition included members of civil society, political parties, religious institutions, schools and student groups from across South Africa.

The event was almost called off following the late-notice and unexpected cancellation of the venue hire by Freedom Park, where the rally was scheduled to take place.

The singing, chanting and toyi-toying crowds made their way slowly to the Union Buildings carrying placards with slogans saying: “No Cutting Ties”, “Send back the SA Ambassador to Israel”, “No to Downgrade” and ”I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, roused the crowds with messages to the ANC, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Iran, the people of Israel and fellow South Africans.

He said the ANC had allowed Hamas to inform them and influence them. “This was a mistake. Instead of listening to Hamas, listen to us Christians. We are here representing millions of South Africans and we want the relationship with Israel to be strengthened.”

He reminded the government that Hamas was not going to be here to vote for them at next year’s elections.

His message to Hamas was simple: “We regard Israel as our friend; don’t come here and mess up that relationship.”

His message to the PA was to teach children to love instead of hate. “You teach your children to hate Israelis. It is wrong… Israelis teach their children to love, to be innovative.”

He challenged the PA to encourage the use of iPads and computers instead of knives and guns.

To fellow Israelis he said: “In spite of how the rest of the world treats you, there are millions in South Africa who love you.”

Speaking to journalists earlier, Meshoe praised Israel for the assistance it provided around the world, including Syria.

He said government had double standards when it came to Israel. “The loss of life is always regrettable, but where is South Africa’s voice when thousands of Christians are being killed by Islamist militants? They are silent.”

Mosiuoa Lekota, president of the Congress of the People, urged those present at the rally not to take sides in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but instead, to listen to both sides and encourage everybody to come together.

“Some organisations are determined to use our country as a platform to attack Israel, he said. “We are not here to tell Israel what to do. We are friends of Israel.

“There are many faiths in South Africa. We took the decision in South Africa not to adopt one faith. Therefore, we must respect each other’s beliefs and faith. We want peace in South Africa and in the whole world; therefore, we must respect each other.”

In thanking all who came in support of Israel, Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein moved the crowd with a blessing for peace. “From the depth of my heart to all of you gathered here, thank you so much, we love you,” he said.

“As we see the Union Buildings, we say to government on behalf of millions of South Africans, the majority of whom love Israel; we say this is a democracy – the government must listen to the people. We want the bond of love between South Africa and Israel to be close. For South Africa to love Israel and for Israel to love South Africa.”

Nkosi Bishop Phakama Shembe, head of the Shembe Church, said the government was arrogant and when it started to listen to the people, the people would vote for it.

According to SAFI the rally on Wednesday was supported by the Nazareth Baptist Church, the Council of Churches South Africa International (COCSAI), the Christian Ministers Council of Southern Africa (CMCSA), the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), Reconciliation in Christ Ministries, City of Mercy Tabernacle, and the Naturena Baptist Church.


  1. Suzette van Rooyen

    Where were al the thousands of Christians that regularly visit Israel? There should have been far more support. But we thank the Lord for those who went to the march represent those of us who could not attend. Come on South Africa, we need to become a sheep nation according to Matthew 25: 31-46

  2. Praise God and Shalom to all the marches who make an effort in coming out to support Israel. Now it’s Cape Town’s turn. All Christians let’s do it. Let SA know hat Cape Town love Israel.

  3. Here is a scripture for South Africa and its government that does not fear God and that the so-called “Christians” have voted into power to think about.

    Psalm 83 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    God Implored to Confound His Enemies.
    A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

    Do not keep silent, O God;
    Do not hold Your peace or be still, O God.
    For behold, Your enemies are in tumult,
    And those who hate You have raised their heads [in hatred of You].
    They concoct crafty schemes against Your people,
    And conspire together against Your hidden and precious ones.
    They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation;
    Let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
    For they have conspired together with one mind;
    Against You they make a covenant—
    The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    Of Moab and the Hagrites,
    Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre.
    Assyria also has joined with them;
    They have helped the children of Lot [the Ammonites and the Moabites] and have been an arm [of strength] to them. Selah.

    Deal with them as [You did] with Midian,
    As with Sisera and Jabin at the brook of Kishon,
    Who were destroyed at En-dor,
    Who became like dung for the earth.
    Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb
    And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
    Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves
    The pastures of God.”

    O my God, make them like [a]whirling dust,
    Like chaff before the wind [worthless and without substance].
    Like fire consumes the forest,
    And like the flame sets the mountains on fire,
    So pursue them with Your tempest
    And terrify them with [the violence of] Your storm.
    Fill their faces with shame and disgrace,
    That they may [persistently] seek Your name, O Lord.
    Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever;
    Yes, let them be humiliated and perish,
    That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,
    Are the Most High over all the earth.

  4. Here are Some Scriptures About Blessing Israel
    –Genesis 12:1-3
    “I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
    and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”
    –Isaiah 62:1
    For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
    for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
    till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
    her salvation like a blazing torch.
    –Psalm 122
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    they that love thee shall prosper.
    Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
    For my brethren and companions’ sakes,
    I will say now, peace be within thee.
    For the sake of the House of the Lord our God
    I will seek thy good.
    –Isaiah 62:6-7
    “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
    they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD,
    give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes
    Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”
    Romans 15:27 (NIV)
    They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For
    if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they
    owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.

  5. Meshoe’s ‘message to the PA was to teach children to love instead of hate’. “You teach your children to hate Israelis. It is wrong… Israelis teach their children to love, to be innovative.” HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO ISRAEL HATING (NOT LOVING) ITS ENEMIES as John Saunders’ quotation from PSALM 83 teaches? … and PLEASE TELL ISRAEL THAT THEY MUST REPENT AND RENEW THEIR OBEDIENCE TO THE COVENANT, OTHERWISE “THEY WILL CERTAINLY BE DESTROYED” Deut 30:18. God’s blessings on them, and on us, are always conditional. e.g. John 3:36.

  6. I totally support Israel.
    I was not aware of the march. How can we proactively be informed of such an event (march) in future?