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Ever since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948, solidarity, democracy and justice have been guiding principles of society-building, something that in the West is often drowned out by other reporting from the region. Here we want to help spread information and also support good initiatives in the Israeli society.

In 2023 Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary – and we want to mark and celebrate this by arranging a friendship voyage to Israel, in the name of truth and love.

At the same time, we want to draw attention to the situation of the Christian Church, which is increasingly being persecuted and repressed in large parts of the Middle East, the very cradle of the Christian faith – all the while the surrounding world stays alarmingly silent. Few are getting their voice heard across about what is happening to our Christian brothers and sisters, and the purge continues unabated. This silence must be broken!

Elida is a small all-Christian organisation that has been working with various Christian groups for 60 years to fulfill our joint mission of making Christ loved and known. We now wish to invite people and organisations who see what we see in the Middle East and who want to show solidarity with our Christian brethren by raising the issue in this way. Elida wants to provide a platform for various organisations to spread knowledge and help break the silence. 

We also want to highlight the necessity to stand up against anti-Semitism, which again is on the rise in Sweden and around the world. Unless we understand that anti-Semitism only changes its guise and behaves in different ways at different times, we will end up with the anti-Semitic currents of the 1930s. In our country, Sweden, we have made a promise never to forget, but we must also dare to act. When Jews no longer dare to live in Sweden, we see it as our duty to speak out on their behalf.

Israel is the destination of our voyage, and the reasons are many. One is that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Surrounded by dictatorships, where human rights are constantly violated, Israel shines like a beacon in the night. The Jewish state shows the way to an ethically sustainable society, where differences are allowed and accommodated in a united nation, despite the challenges it constantly faces. 

Above all, this is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian minority currently isn’t declining in numbers, but steadily growing.

Israel is also the land that God promised to Abraham, and its very existence is palpable proof of the steadfastness of God’s promises. When the modern state of Israel was established in 1948, God proved his faithfulness to His people – something every Christian should rejoice in, as it shows that God keeps his promises.* 

• Here you’ll find more about PILGRIM 2023