Majority of US evangelicals back Israel


Evangelical Christians in the United States are among the strongest supporters of Israel and believe God has plans for the nation, both now and in the future.

According to a study by Nashville-based LifeWay Research, many US pastors teach that Christians must support Israel and evangelicals see a close tie between God and Israel.

Nearly seven in ten say the modern nation of Israel was formed in line with biblical prophecy. A similar number say God has a special relationship with the modern nation of Israel. Nearly three-quarters say events in Israel are forecast in the Book of Revelation.

Non-evangelicals are more cautious, however, and less than half believe the formation of modern Israel is a fulfilment of biblical prophecy. Just under half agree the Jewish people are God's chosen people. About two-thirds of Americans say God had a "special relationship with ancient Israel" and nearly half say God has a special relationship with modern Israel. This compares to more than half of Americans who believe God has a special relationship with the United States.

Younger Americans, those 18-24, are less likely to see a tie between Israel and the Book of Revelation than those 45 and older.

People with graduate degrees are also much less likely to agree events in Israel are part of the prophecies in Revelation than those with a high school degree or less. However, higher levels of education do correlate to higher levels of support for Israeli statehood. Those with a graduate degree are most likely to be supporters at 61 per cent, followed by those with a bachelor's degree and those with some college education. Less than a third of those with a high school diploma or less support Israeli statehood.

Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, said: "No piece of literature has had more impact on American culture than the Bible. No country is more intertwined with the ancient biblical narrative than Israel, and evangelical Americans see a contemporary connection with the nation."

Researchers conducted two separate surveys of 1,000 Americans, along with a survey of 1,000 senior pastors of Protestant churches.