Survey Reveals Vast Majority of Christians in All Key U.S. Denominations Believe They Have a “Moral and Biblical Obligation to Love and Support Israel and Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”

Source: Breaking Christian News                                                    

Article can be found at this address: http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=5214

Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 9, 2008

More than 80 percent of American Christians say they have a “moral and biblical obligation” to support the State of Israel, and half say Jerusalem should remain its undivided capital, according to a survey released on Thursday.

While evangelical Christians are the strongest supporters of the Jewish state, strong pro-Israel convictions cut across all key Christian denominations in the US, according to the poll carried out on behalf of the Washington-based Joshua Fund, an evangelical organization.

Eight-two percent of respondents said they had a “moral and biblical obligation” to love and support Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” 10% disagreed and 8% did not know.

Eighty-four percent of Protestants agreed with the statement (including 89% of Evangelicals), compared to 76% of Catholics.

Half of the American Christians surveyed opposed Israel dividing Jerusalem with the Palestinians in a peace agreement, 33% were unsure and 17% thought it should be divided.

Fifty-three percent of Protestants supported a united Jerusalem, as did 44% of Catholics.

Evangelical Christians were most supportive of a united Jerusalem, with 62% in favor and 11% against.

A plurality of the US Christians (44%) surveyed said they did not know whether a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would be a peaceful moderate democracy or a terrorist state, 32% said that it would be a terrorist state and 24% said that it would be a peaceful democracy.

The survey found clear differences between Protestants and Catholics on the issue.

Protestants were more likely to say a Palestinian state would be a terror state by a 10-point margin; Catholics were evenly split. Evangelical Protestants said a such entity would be a terrorist state by a 20-point margin, but non-evangelical Protestants said it would be a peaceful and moderate democracy by six percentage points.

The belief that a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state was strongest among Republican and conservative Evangelicals.

Nearly half (49%) of American Christians surveyed were interested in visiting Israel, including about quarter of both Catholics and Protestants who were “strongly” interested.

Forty-seven percent of those polled were not interested in visiting.

There are 50 million-60 million evangelicals Christians in the US.

Two-thirds of respondents said that if Iran developed nuclear weapons, it would eventually try to use them to attack Israel, 23% were unsure and 13% said Iran would not attack.

Finally, 45% said they would be more likely to support a US presidential candidate who would protect America from Islamic terrorism, protect Israel from a nuclear attack from Iran, oppose the division of Jerusalem and refuse to pressure Israel to make concessions on issues of national security, compared to 29% who said such positions had no effect on their vote and 9% who would be less likely to support such a candidate.

The survey will be officially released on Thursday at a conference at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha’uma) organized by The Joshua Fund that is expected to be attended by 2,000 evangelical Christians from around the world.

The non-profit organization aims to raise more than $100 million over the next three years to help Israeli victims of terrorism, and to fund humanitarian projects in Israel in education, health, welfare and immigrant absorption, and $20m. for Christians in the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq and Sudan, said Joel C. Rosenberg, the group’s founder and president.

“Our support for Israel is unwavering and unconditional,” he said.

The survey, which was conducted by McLaughlin and Associates by a telephone sampling of 1,000 American Christians last month, had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.


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