Israel’s tourism minister invited the 33 rescued Chilean miners to spend Christmas in Israel.
Stas Misezhnikov invited the miners for a one-week, all-expenses-paid trip with their wives to Israel, where they will tour the country, including sites holy to Christianity.
The invitation issued Monday is in cooperation with other commercial enterprises in the tourism industry, according to a statement from the tourism ministry.
“Your bravery and strength of spirit, your great faith that helped you survive so long in the bowels of the earth, was an inspiration to us all,” the invitation says. “It would be a great honor for us to welcome you as our guests in the Holy Land. This December, Christians around the world — and here in the Land of Jesus — will celebrate Christmas. During that time, we welcome tens of thousands of pilgrims and we would be pleased to offer you this uplifting and extraordinary experience, as our guests.”
In a nearly 23-hour rescue, all of the miners were pulled last week from the San Jose gold and copper mine, where they had been trapped since its collapse on Aug. 5. The Chilean miners reportedly survived the longest of anyone buried underground.