(Photo: Rogers & Cowan)
Popular Christian singer and actor Pat Boone announced last week that he will be selling small plots of land that he owns in Galilee, Israel, to Christian Zionists from America.
Boone, 78, who was a pop-chart topper in the late 50s and 60s, considered second in popularity only to Elvis Presley at the time, is currently in Israel as part of a delegation led by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The inspiration for the idea came from the biblical passage in which God tells the prophet Jeremiah to buy a plot of land in Israel despite the Israeli people's exile from Babylon.
"Why would God tell him to do such a thing?" Boone asked. "He's never going to see it. Why buy it? The land will be desolate." He added, however, that the point of the Bible passage is to show God's promise to the Israelis that they would return to the land.
"I think that this is a sure way for Christians by the millions, evangelicals, who do believe God's promises – that God has brought the people of Israel back, never to be removed again – to make a commitment. That's what we're doing and are urging others to do."
The singer said he was raised in a conservative Christian household that looked down upon other religious groups, but in his time working and living in Israel and interacting with many Jews, he had grown to love the people and even considers himself to be part of the Jewish nation.
After conversations with Israeli friends, he was led to the idea of selling one-square foot plots in Galilee to American supporters of Israel, so that he could give them "a stake in the land." Boone said Galilee was his favorite place in Israel because "Jesus as a young man walked between the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth," and the plots are situated where he passed. He added that those interested in buying a plot can view the land through Google Maps.
As for the money from the sales, Boone said that several Israeli charities would receive between 20 and 30 percent of the proceeds.
The iconic singer has been known for some controversial political views, such as claiming that President Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake and that the president follows Islam, despite Obama's numerous assurances that he is a Christian.
In May 2012, Boone released his latest album, Pat Boone Sings a Tribute to The Ink Spots, adding to the nearly 120 albums he has made over a career that has lasted six decades.