A record 6,000 evangelical Christians from 72 countries attended the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration this year, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. But for the first time, Israeli leaders did not address the group, which strongly supports the state of Israel. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cited security and scheduling concerns, but pro-Christian Knesset (parliament) members say Sharon did not want to address the Zionist Christians because they opposed his pullout from the Gaza Strip. Christian Embassy staff expressed disappointment that Sharon did not attend.
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