- (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)
Recently released findings from the Pew Research Center indicate that in the United States white evangelicals are more than twice as likely to believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people than American Jews.
Pew found that 82 percent of white evangelicals believed God gave Israel to the Jewish people. By contrast, only 40 percent of American Jews agreed.
Michael Lipka of Pew wrote in an article on Thursday on the organization's website that in the multi-issue survey "Jews' feelings for Israel are equaled or even exceeded by those of white evangelical Protestants."
"Some of the discrepancy is attributable to Jews' lower levels of belief in God overall; virtually all evangelicals say they believe in God, compared with 72% of Jews (23% say they do not believe in God and 5% say they don't know or decline to answer the question)," wrote Lipka.
"But even Jews who do believe in God are less likely than evangelicals to believe that God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people (55% vs. 82%)."
Lipka also noted that evangelicals were more likely to believe than American Jews that the U.S. is not doing enough to support Israel and less likely to believe that an Israeli state and a Palestinian state could coexist.
The survey was part of a broader analysis of the views of Jewish Americans by the Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project in a publication titled "A Portrait of Jewish Americans," released Tuesday.
According to the report's overview, the data was drawn from over-the-phone interviews with 3,475 Jews across the U.S. from Feb. 20 to June 13 with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.
The overall report has garnered headlines, as many have noted that the survey data showed a shift in the way that American Jewry identifies itself.
"American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, according to a major new survey by the Pew Research Center," begins the overview.
"But the survey also suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America, where one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion."
Rabbi Steven C. Wernick, CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, told The Christian Post that the study "validates our hunch that the time has come for broad and sweeping changes."
"We have kept our ear to the ground, hearing the rumbling underfoot. The time for change is here. We have known that for a while. And the Pew poll proves that," said Wernick.
"Still, we believe that Conservative Judaism is the vital epicenter of North American Jewish Life. We refuse to buy into the narrative of decline. The numbers do not tell the entire story."
The pro-Israel group Christians United for Israel was queried by The Christian Post for this story, but declined to provide comment on the Pew findings.