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Netanyahu to Christian Media Summit: 'Israel has no better friends in the world'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony marking 50 years since Israel captured the West Bank and other territories in the 1967 Mideast war, in Gush Etzion settlement in the West Bank, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.
AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov
Netanyahu also took the opportunity to talk about the plight of Christians in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised a crowd of Christian tourists on Sunday evening for being some of Israel’s best friends, while addressing the Christian Media Summit at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum.

“Israel has no better friends in the world than the Christian communities around the world, and Israel is the one country in a vast region where Christians not only survive, they thrive,” Netanyahu said.

“Thank you for standing with Israel,” the prime minister added. “We all are deeply grateful.”

Many Christians from around the world have been in Israel over the last two weeks to celebrate the most recent Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to talk about the plight of Christians living under the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Christians are brutally persecuted in the Islamic Republic,” Netanyahu noted. “Pastors are jailed for no reason other than for being Christian leaders.

“Christians have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services,” he continued. “Christians have been brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith.”

The regime in Tehran has also been a target of criticism for particularly trampling upon the rights of converts to Christianity, who are often viewed as apostates.

Netanyahu told the attendees of the Christian Media Summit that he refuses to overlook the ongoing predicament for Christians in Iran.

“Some world leaders are willing to ignore this repression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them,” he stressed.

“So today I have a simple request for the media outlets in this room: Dedicate this week to highlighting the plight of the countless Christians suffering under Iran.”

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