Younger evangelical Christians are much less supportive of Israel than their older counterparts despite their belief that the Bible gave Jewish people a "biblical right" to Israel, according to a new survey from the Christian organization LifeWay Research.
The survey asked 2,002 American evangelical Christians about their beliefs concerning a wide range of issues involving Israel, from its place in the Bible to its treatment of Palestinians. However, only 58 per cent of evangelicals aged between 18 and 34 do so, with four out of 10 in this age group saying they have "no strong views" about Israel.
On such efforts to shift younger Evangelicals' support away from Israel, the Institute on Religion and Democracy's President Mark Tooley has said, "Unfortunately, their perspective ignores the nasty reality of the Middle East, where democracy, human rights and religious liberty are largely confined to Israel and absent almost everywhere else".
66 % of evangelicals under the age of 35 said "Christians should make more efforts to show love and concern for the Palestinian people". Fifty-eight percent of younger evangelicals have an overall positive perception of Israel compared to older evangelicals at 76 percent. Exactly half of all Evangelical surveyed said they had a positive or very positive view of Israel, and 24 percent said they have a positive view of Israel no matter what the country does.
However, he said: 'I am concerned for the obvious decline in support for Israel among millennial followers of Jesus, who either do not know what they believe or do not seem to care'.
Some 80 per cent of those over 65 believe "the Jewish people have a right to the Land of Israel", compared with 61 per cent of those under 35.
These survey results confirm what many Evangelicals probably witness already within their local church communities. Six percent of evangelicals disagree, while 25 percent were not sure.
Matthews justified his superior knowledge of the situation in Israel by citing the fact he once lived in Jerusalem, and he expressed support for former President Bill Clinton's strategy of giving concessions to the Palestinians.
Evangelical support for Israel has played a key role in Israeli-American relations for many years.
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