Israel's Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov hosted a pre-Christmas festive reception for the leaders of the Christian communities and churches in Israel in Jerusalem.
Israel's Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov requested the faithful around the world to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Israel's Tourist Ministry quote him as saying:
“The Christian community, in all its denominations and with its hundreds of millions of faithful around the world, represents one of the main anchors for incoming tourism to Israel. Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, with Jerusalem at its center, serves as a bridge for peace and cooperation between faiths and peoples.”
(from left to right): Director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem Juergen Buehler, Director-General of the Tourism Ministry Noaz Bar-Nir, H.E Nunzio Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and from the Latin Patriarchate Mons. William Shumali and Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo of Nazareth
According to Israel'sTourism Ministry, about 75,000 tourists will visit Israel during the Christmas period, of whom about 25,000 are Christian pilgrims.