(Associated Press) Waving blue and white Israeli flags, thousands of evangelical Christians from around the world filled streets of downtown Jerusalem on Thursday in a show of support for the Jewish state.

The annual march during the week-long Jewish Sukkot holiday brings together Christians from dozens of countries.

Evangelical Christians are known as strong supporters of Israel, providing financial help and political backing, especially in the U.S.­ Even so, their hard-line views toward Palestinians and suspect religious motivations make some moderate Israelis and Jews abroad uncomfortable.

“This is the real United Nations,” said Sheila Hakes, 41, from Alabama. “Israelis are our brothers and sisters, so we must protect them from Iran and evil,” a reference to Iran’s suspicious nuclear program, adding, “Jesus will come here again.”

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