Christian Zionism and American Evangelicalism

Christian Zionism and American Evangelicalism March 25, 2015

Ryan Rodrick Beiler:

The issues in Israel today are multi-layered and complex at a number of levels, and most in West today think Israel deserves a place in which to dwell in safety, but most also are now seeing that current Israeli policies suppress and oppress Palestinians. A clip from a solid report of some realities we need to know about.

Though this rhetoric might be attractive to young people, CUFI’s claims about a loving Israel do not reconcile with the reality on the ground.

“They try to portray the conflict in Palestine and Israel as a religious conflict between the Judeo-Christian tradition and Islam. Palestinian evangelicals challenge that position,” said Isaac. “Christians are persecuted in Syria and Iraq by Muslims, but in Palestine, that’s not true. Our biggest challenge as Palestinian Christians is the occupation.”

“Christian Zionism does not promote peace and totally ignores justice,” he added. “It brings the terminology of divine right into a modern conflict and tries to solve that modern conflict not by international law but by making claims on behalf of God — and how is that different from radical Islam which claims there’s a divine right to their actions?”

Isaac and Christ at the Checkpoint are not alone in their efforts to educate evangelicals. A growing number of Christian colleges and church-based groups are organizing eye-opening study tours.

“We have testimonies of people who came in very Zionist and were interested in a Holy Land trip that was sponsored by their seminary,” explained Mariano Avila of Hope Equals, a group which organizes study tours for college and seminary students. “And so we take them to show them what’s going on over there.”

“This summer was very intense,” Avila recalled. “We were there right as Brother’s Keeper [the series of raids across the West Bank in the lead-up to the attack on Gaza last summer] was ramping up, during home invasions that were happening in Bethlehem. We were terrified. We were in different Palestinian homes and knew that Israelis were knocking down doors just a few blocks away in the middle of the night.”

"Thanks, Becky. In my case, always the interest, never the time."

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