By Tony Obiechina
Christians from various states of the Federation under the auspices of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), Nigerian chapter on Sunday celebrated the State of Israel as it attained 70 years as an independent nation.
The event which was held at the National Christian Centre in Abuja was attended by prominent church leaders including Bishop David Oyedepo and Bishop Francis Wale Oke.
In a goodwill message Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Guy Feldman, said “the collaboration between the CUFI and the Embassy of Israel in Nigeria dates back to 2008.’’
“It has been 70 years of our independence and almost 70 years of our relationship with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is worth celebrating.
“This year is unique to us with what is going on in Israel; the move of the Embassy of the United States and other embassies to Jerusalem will deepen relationships with our friends and friends to be.
“In these years we have faced a lot of challenges from politics to agriculture and we came with a very large historical perspective and moral obligation which we call ‘Tikkun Olam’ meaning fixing the world and we are doing it together,”
He appreciated the role played by Christian United for Israel in strengthening the ties between Nigeria and the state of Israel.
Bishop David Bakare, chairman of CUFI Prayer Outreach Nigeria said that the group was coming together to celebrate and pray for God’s continuous blessings on Israel as one of Nigeria’s strongest allies was currently going through hard times.
According to the Bishop, Israel is currently undergoing attacks by countries around it, especially after Jerusalem was declared as the capital.
“It is worrisome threat people could go against this decision, especially as we know that that is the historic land of Israelites.
“We are here to celebrate the political success on the country and show our continuous support for the people of Israel as we stand with them in our bilateral relationships and in prayers.
“The CUFI have come together not to protest but to celebrate Israel,’’ he said.
Rev. Samson Ozovehe executive secretary of CUFI added that it was a blessing for Christians to witness how far Israel had come despite their historical challenges.
According to him, Christians would agree that God had restored the land of Israel to the Jewish people as promised in the scriptures.
He said 70 years later, the state of Israel is stronger and more prosperous than ever and we are here to celebrate the scriptural fulfilment.
“The rapid development of the modern state of Israel and her contributions to humanity is sure beyond human comprehension and this is one of the reasons her friends must celebrate and not be silent.
“We must speak out and affirm that Israel has been a great blessing to the world and those that stand with Israel will themselves be blessed.
“If there was ever a time when the church should stand with Israel, it is now,’’ Ozovehe said.
Over 1000 CUFI delegates from about twenty states and the Federal Capital Territory attended the event which was marked with praise worships and prayer sessions.