The difference between Israeli and American Christians is stark

Few things in American Christianity generate as much passionate discussion as the role of Israel in today’s world and in the future. Many consider modern Israel the object of biblical prophecies yet to be fulfilled. Others consider all the promises to ancient Israel to have been fulfilled in Christ (since “all the promises of God in Him are ‘yes'”). Some view the church today as Israel. Some are as confused now as ever.

In the March Christianity Today article, Israeli Christians Think and Do Almost the Opposite of American Evangelicals, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra sifts Pew Research data for some interesting facts. Pew’s survey

included enough self-identified Christians (468) to statistically break out their views. The numbers were weighted and adjusted, because Pew found that only 2 percent of Israel’s population in 2015 was Christian, down from 3 percent in 1949. (Pew’s survey includes Arab residents of East Jerusalem, but not those of Gaza or of the West Bank outside of East Jerusalem.)

Those Christians are largely split 50/50 between Catholic and Orthodox believers. Protestants and Messianic Jews both made up fewer than 0.5 percent of Israel’s population, and thus were too negligible to be broken out separately in the survey results (though they are included in the totals pertaining to all Christians).

Though all those surveyed are both Christian (self-identified) and Israeli (born in Israel or East Jerusalem), 96% are Arab in heritage. This may or may not affect opinions about the nature of a fully religiously-Jewish nation. The number of Israeli Christians who do not believe Israel can co-exist as a democracy and Jewish state (72%) exceeds even the number of Muslims holding the same position (63%).

The political policy differences between many American Christians and Israeli Christians are also enlightening.

Regarding U.S. support for Israel Zylstra writes:

The vast majority of Israeli Christians (86%) believe the United States is too supportive of Israel. Just 6 percent said the American government wasn’t supportive enough, while 7 percent said the level of US support was just right.

The numbers stand in stark contrast to the views of American Christians. A 2013 Pew study found that just 18 percent of them said the US is too supportive of Israel. Even fewer white evangelicals (12%) and black Protestants (16%)—two-thirds of whom identify as evangelical—said that America is too supportive of Israel.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Nancy

    Interesting information.