Originally appeared here at The Times of Israel
, January 15th 2018
Reportedly, in the weeks leading up to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, countless Evangelical Christian leaders had been heavily involved in lobbying the president and his senior advisors to make this long overdue decision.
“I have no doubt that evangelicals played a meaningful role in this decision,” said Johnnie Moore, a California pastor who serves as a spokesman for a council of leading evangelicals that advises the White House. “I don’t believe it would have happened without them.”
It is clear that this is just a latest example of the role that Evangelical Christians play in pro-Israel decisions in the U.S., to the point that this community is arguably the Jewish State’s strongest strategic asset in the U.S.
However, a recent poll demonstrates what some have known for a while, that Evangelical support for Israel is waning among younger demographics.
According to a recent study conducted by Christian group LifeWay Research, over three-quarters of Evangelicals aged 65 and older hold a “positive” view of Israel. That number steadily drops among younger age groups before bottoming out at 58 percent among Evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 34.
Most worryingly, for many younger Evangelicals, Israel is not a burning issue and some simply don’t care. Over 40 percent of those polled between the ages of 18 to 34 answered that they have no strong views about Israel.
This translates into a worrying scenario whereby the kind of Evangelical support and lobbying on pro-Israel issues that we see today will be much harder if not highly unlikely in future generations.
However, all is not lost and we dare not give up on our most important allies.
We need to actively invest in the next generation of Christian leaders to provide them with the tools to better understand the intersection between their faith, its foundations in the Holy Land and support for the modern State of Israel.
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