By Victor Ochieng
If there is something quite clear among older evangelicals, it’s that they hold the nation of Israel in reverence and believe it has a special role in their faith. However, young evangelicals are showing a totally different trend.
A new survey by the Nashville-based LifeWay Research shows that young evangelicals don’t care about Israel. A whopping 77% of older evangelicals, 65 and over, expressed support for the existence, safety, and prosperity of Israel. In a surprise twist, the percentage drops to 58% among evangelicals aged between 18 and 34.
Four out of every 10 evangelicals (41%) don’t hold strong views on Israel.
Fewer young evangelicals (58%) have a positive view of Israel compared to 76% of older evangelicals. The young generation is also not sure whether or not the 1943 rebirth of the nation of Israel was a good thing.
“For the most part, younger evangelicals are indifferent about Israel,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
In the survey, LifeWay Research asked 2,002 Americans a wide array of questions about Israel, including its place in the Bible and the way the country treats Palestinians. The survey targeted Americans who hold evangelical beliefs rather than those who identify as evangelicals.
Overall, the group that was interviewed was evidently supportive of Israel. More than three quarters (67%) have a positive opinion of Israel, with only 9% having a negative view of the nation. Of all those interviewed, 24% said they’re not sure of what to make of Israel.
Slightly more than one-fourth (24%) support the existence and prosperity of Israel, regardless of what the country does. Close to half (44%) support Israel, but not all the nation does. Then there is 1% that totally don’t support Israel. While some held strong views on the Middle Eastern country, 32% hold no strong views.
When it comes to the rebirth of Israel, 14% said the event was an injustice to Arab nations in the Middle East, 50% said it wasn’t an injustice, while 36% aren’t sure.
About quarter (22%) believe Israel has been unfair to Palestinians, while 41% hold a contrary opinion. The remaining 37% aren’t sure what to make of the whole situation.
Nineteen percent (19%) of younger evangelicals view the rebirth of Israel as an act of injustice, with only 34% disagreeing. A total of 47% aren’t sure.
These figures are a clear demonstration of just how opinions differ across generations.