[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

This fall, around 70 Christian media outlets are scheduled to convene in Jerusalem for a first-of-its-kind Christian media Summit, JNS.org reported. The four-day event—sponsored by Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO), Foreign Ministry and Jerusalem Affairs Ministry—will see some 140 Christian media associates visit the Jewish state’s capital in mid-October.

The media summit will facilitate tours for participants, including a visit to Gush Etzion (Judea) —Israel’s largest bloc of communities in Judea and Samaria. The Christian media professionals will also visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem’s Friends of Zion Museum, and will participate in conference sessions on topics related to news coverage of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other senior officials are expected to meet with the Christian media representatives during their visit to the Jewish state.

“We thought that the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem would be a good opportunity to hold such a conference,” Nitzan Chen, director of the GPO, told Haaretz. “We hope these journalists will become good ambassadors for Israel and if this conference succeeds, the idea is to hold it every year or two,” he added.

The Christian journalists were invited to Israel following government consultations with the National Religious Broadcasters, a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators with more than 1,100 member organizations.

In recent years, the international Christian community and Israel have become increasingly close and supportive of one another.

In July, at the Visegrad Group Summit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the summit attendees, “Israel is the one place where Christians are safe, and the Christian community in Israel not only survives, but thrives and grows. Israel is a bastion of European and Western values in the heart of a very, very dark area.”

Also in July, at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Washington Summit, Netanyahu gave the following remark to a crowd of cheering Israel supporters: “The Christian friends of Israel, you are always there for us, we have no better friends than you. Thank you!”