It didn’t take long for many evangelical Christian groups in America to show their support for Israel.
Hours after Hamas attacked the country on 7 October, killing more than 1,400 people, Christians United for Israel, an evangelical lobbying group which claims to have more than 10 million members, posted a message to on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“To the terrorists who have chosen this fight, hear this, what you do to Israel, god will do to you. Despite today’s weeping, joy will come because he [god] who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps,” CUFI, whose founder believes the presence of Jews in Israel is a precursor to Jesus Christ returning to Earth, wrote.
Soon an “Evangelical statement in support of Israel” was issued by the ethics and religion liberty commission – an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination which has 45,000 churches in the US.
In the statement, 2,000 evangelical leaders – not all were named – said they “fully support Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack”. Little credence was given to the Palestinians who would soon find themselves under attack: more than 8,000 people in Gaza have now been killed by Israeli bombardments, according to Gaza’s health ministry .
“While our theological perspectives on Israel and the Church may vary, we are unified in calling attacks against Jewish people especially troubling as they have been often targeted by their neighbors since God called them as His people in the days of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3),” the evangelical statement said.
“In keeping with Christian Just War tradition, we also affirm the legitimacy of Israel’s right to respond against those who have initiated these attacks as Romans 13 grants governments the power to bear the sword against those who commit such evil acts against innocent life.”
The more than 90 named signatories – four were women, the rest men – included the current president, and eight former presidents, of the Southern Baptist Convention, among other influential evangelicals. [Continue reading…]