While hundreds of Arabs barricaded themselves inside the Aqsa Mosque, a conference held just outside the walls of the Old City quietly set the stage for the building of the Third Temple.
Cry for Zion hosted the Temple Mount 23 Jerusalem Convention at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center on Sunday. Cry for Zion is a movement of Jews and Christians that support the Jewish people’s rights to sovereignty over the Temple Mount, guaranteeing Jewish rights and freedoms in their most holy place. They seek to achieve this goal by educating the public about the Temple.
“The second Temple Mount Jerusalem Convention (TMJC) 2023 was a resounding success,” the organizers told the media. “What better time to come together for the Temple Mount than during Passover, the Festival of Freedom, and as millions of Christians worldwide commemorated the Resurrection and new life?”
Doron Keidar, executive director of Cry for Zion
The first convention in December 2018 was an unprecedented new meeting between Bible-believing Jews and Christians. At TMJC 23, that relationship and cooperation had matured even more with a new spirit of friendship and solidarity permeating the event. Noticeably many young, new, and creative voices participated.
Cry For Zion, who hosted the Temple Mount convention, was honored and grateful to have a truly amazing lineup of speakers who spoke back-to-back at the all-day event. The perspectives were diverse, but the themes were noticeably complementary, with speakers referring to each other’s comments throughout.
John Enarson, the Christian Relations Director at the organization Cry for Zion, opened the event with a request that mutual respect and tolerance be the rule.
“This event is a meeting place of both Jews and Christians coming from different perspectives,” Enarson emphasized. “This should be done with mutual respect, acknowledging differences and finding common ground on important issues without signing up. The fact that you are here or someone speaking here doesn’t mean that they are signing up for any political or religious position. We asked everybody here all the participants to show this grace towards each other.”
Enarson gave a disclaimer, warning that many in the media and in the Christian and Jewish religious spheres would reject the Temple Mount movement as extremist and an attempt at incitement.
“There’s a certain group among the media that are going to be watching and they’re bound to call us all sorts of words, whether it’s racist or bigoted bible thumpers or irresponsible troublemakers, or zealots or extremists, but the era of name-calling when it comes to the Temple Mount is over,” Enarson declared.
“The Temple Mount is now a mainstream concern in Israel and around the world. And I would actually say that the position that represents perhaps the opposition is the one that is extreme, that wants to again, divide Jerusalem into something like East and West Berlin, that says that Arabs and Jews cannot get along together in the city and would like to segregate the city that to us is the extremist position.”
Indeed, the event came during a particularly turbulent time, coming after a week of rocket attacks targeting Israel from the north and the south. The Muslim month of Ramadan coincided with the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Christian holiday of Easter. The focus was clearly on the Temple Mount as hundreds of Arabs barricaded themselves in the Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to prevent Jews from ascending to their holiest site.
Speakers included former Israeli presidential candidate and MK, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who shared a wider vision for Temple Mount advocacy. He declared that the event was the launch of a global Zionist movement—not just the important movement of support for the State of Israel, but a global movement among the nations for Zion itself, the Temple Mount, to fulfill its destiny as the House of Prayer for All Nations. He called upon everyone in practical ways to make Jerusalem Day a global celebration with universal significance.
A big shout-out to the organization HaYovel who truly came alongside in heart and vision with the convention. Luke Hilton of The Israel Guys spoke of the need to increasingly normalize Christian ascent to the Temple Mount as an integral part of the pilgrimage of millions of Christians to Israel.
Bishop Glenn Plummer also addressed the convention as the official representative of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African-American Pentecostal church in America. Some historic churches have bishops of “Jerusalem” in the “Holy Land,” or similar. COGIC took the unprecedented step to recognize the significance of the State of Israel by appointing Dr. Plummer as “Bishop of Israel” where he has now started the Fellowship of Israelis, Ethiopians, & Black Americans.
Bishop Plummer emphasized the Temple Mount Jerusalem Convention’s theme, that according to the Prophet Isaiah, God Almighty Himself is bringing foreigners, “who may look different from you,” from all over the world, and that they should “be welcome” in God’s “House of Prayer for All Nations.”
Delegates were especially struck by Dr. Melissa Jane Kronfeld’s heartfelt and powerful presentation. Her new organization “High on the Har” has quickly become one of the most dynamic and exciting movements to join in the struggle for freedom on the Mount, hosting noted profiles such as Ben Shapiro while ascending the Mount.