JPOST: Bishop Mulinge calls for African Nations to move embassies to Jerusalem

Bishop Joshua Mulinge reverently closed his eyes, gazing upward at the Dome of the Rock.

“May the nations of Africa unite and relocate their embassies to Jerusalem,” he whispered with folded arms in prayer.

As he slowly opened his eyes, he contemplated the sacred site, where tradition holds that Adam was created, Abraham endeavored to sacrifice his son, and Jesus imparted many of his teachings.

Walking through the holy land

An Evangelical Christian from Kenya and the president of the Africa-Israel Initiative, Mulinge ascended the Temple Mount at 7 a.m. on Tuesday alongside Reverend Dennis Nthumbi, also from Kenya and the Africa director of the Israel Allies Foundation; former Knesset Member Rabbi Yehudah Glick, who led a private tour; Pastor Erik Selle from Norway, the founder and former president of the initiative; and Tor Arne Gard, one of its representatives.

The Christians were on a solidarity mission, journeying through southern Israel and meeting with families of hostages and survivors of the Hamas October 7 massacre. Additionally, they engaged in discussions with members of the Knesset, exploring avenues for mutual support between Africa and Israel.

The Israel-Hamas war has exposed deep divisions in Africa, with many state governments staunchly supporting the Palestinians, while others, primarily those led by Christians, standing for Israel. In addition, it has highlighted the disconnect between these anti-Israel leaders in Africa and their swelling Bible-believing populations.

According to a 2022 report published in the Journal of Religion and Demography, nearly half (49%) of the citizens of Africa are Christian.

“Most of the world does not know what happened in Israel on October 7 and the pain that Israel is in,” Mulinge told The Jerusalem Post. “I came here to see what is not being said, so I can speak about it across Africa and reach out to the African diaspora on other continents. We can bring the side of the information the media often fails to portray.”

Mulinge said that Africa’s anti-Israel leaders do not speak for the whole continent, but that many of the pro-Israel groups do not yet know how to defend the Jewish state and so are standing silent.

“We will reach out to them, hold meetings based on facts, and give them a proper picture,” he said. “This will help to lobby Africa for Israel.”

Mulinge was in the country on October 7 when the Hamas massacre occurred, having just led a tour to Israel for the Feast of Tabernacles celebration. He left the next day on October 8. Selle had left the day before and was in Addis Ababa when the sirens sounded. Their tour guide was immediately called for reserve duty. Selle said he has been praying for him and all the people of Israel ever since.

Standing in solidarity with Israel

“We hope that our presence will bring some comfort,” Selle said during the Temple Mount tour. “We want Israel and the Jewish people to know they are not alone. Thunderous voices say otherwise, but I think there is a powerful silence – the majority, you know. And we want to lift their voices.”

THE AFRICA-ISRAEL Initiative was founded in 2011 to serve as a “two-way street of blessing between Africa and Israel,” Selle explained. The platform is a Christian, biblical ministry that preaches God’s love of Israel. It also promotes joint social and economic development projects and faith-based diplomacy.

Since its founding, the concept has spread across the African continent. Selle said the initiative has a presence in 20 African countries.

Africa has the largest population of any continent. In the next 20 years, it is expected to be home to 750 million people. Aside from business opportunities, it is also one of the safest places to be Jewish, according to Nthumbi.

“Our father Abraham navigated to Africa during the days of great droughts, and he came out of Africa with a lot of resources,” the Israel Allies Foundation’s Africa director said. “We believe that Africa not only has a safe space for the Jews, it also has wealth for the Jews. And that Christian population that I’ve mentioned – Zion is important to them.

“We want to see the policies of Israel looking at Africa differently, and we want to see the policies of Africa looking at Jerusalem differently,” Nthumbi said.

Selle added: “We say that now is the time for Africa, and now is the time for Israel. There’s huge potential.”

Read the original article here.

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The Africa-Israel Initiative delegation prays on the Temple Mount on December 20, 2023 (credit: MAAYAN HOFFMAN)