All posts tagged: Assemblies of God

With pilgrimages on hold, Holy Land Easter programming fills a gap

With pilgrimages on hold, Holy Land Easter programming fills a gap

(RNS) — Holy Week is typically a time when church groups flock to Israel to walk in the way of Jesus before his crucifixion in Jerusalem. But not this year. With the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, and the fierce ground assault on Gaza that has followed, most U.S. church groups are staying put. Only 23,700 Americans visited Israel in February, the last month for which data is available, according to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics. That’s down from 73,600 U.S. visitors in February 2023, a plunge of 68%. Most of those who did travel were on solidarity or volunteer missions — helping Israelis recover from the Hamas assault that killed an estimated 1,200, took 250 hostages and destroyed many of the kibbutz settlements along Israel’s border with Gaza. Among the Christians who did make the trip was the Rev. Franklin Graham, the CEO of Samaritan’s Purse. The Christian relief organization donated 22 new ambulances to Israel’s EMS fleet, known as Magen David Adom. While in Jerusalem this past January, Graham taped a …