Majority of American Christians Say the Bible Does Not Influence Their View of Israel

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A majority of self-identified Christians in the United States indicate they support Israel’s action against Gaza, while only about one in four say the Bible has influenced their opinions about the Jewish state, according to a new Lifeway Research survey.

The poll, conducted by Lifeway Research and sponsored by The Philos Project, found that 50 percent of self-identified Christians say the United States is “doing the right amount” to help Israel, while 16 percent say the U.S is not doing enough and 26 percent say it’s doing too much. On another question, 88 percent of Christians in the U.S. believe that Israel has the “right to determine their own statehood and government.”

But far fewer Christians say the Bible influences their thoughts on the subject, despite the strong ties between some faith groups and Israel. 

When asked what has influenced their opinions about Israel, 56 percent of Christians cite the media, 27 percent the Bible, 26 percent friends and family, and 13 percent “personal experiences with Jews.” When asked what has influenced their opinion “the most,” 44 percent answered the media and 17 percent the Bible.

“American Christians have been following the war between Israel and Hamas, and two-thirds of those who attend church most often say their church has prayed for peace in Israel,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “While a majority of American Christians support military action by Israel now, a much larger group believe lasting peace must come by mutual agreement of Palestinians and Israelis.”

Three-fourths of Christians (75 percent) believe Hamas is “an extremist group that is isolated from most other Arabs who live in Israel and neighboring countries.” A strong majority — 81 percent — say they support the goal of a “two-state solution in which two states exist, Israel and Palestine, that are self-governing with national borders that are respected by all.” Nearly half (46 percent) strongly agree with the statement. And 88 percent agree that “lasting peace in the region requires a mutually agreed upon political solution between Israel and Palestinians.”

The poll was based on interviews with 1,252 self-identified Christians. 

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Luke Franzen

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.


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