Christian groups hold prayer event for Israel after Hamas attack: 'A battle for our souls'

Attendees pray for Israel during a special Pray Vote Stand Townhall on Oct. 22, 2023. Left to right: Jerry Boykin, Michele Bachmann, Chad Connelly, Erik Estep and Tony Perkins.
Attendees pray for Israel during a special Pray Vote Stand Townhall on Oct. 22, 2023. Left to right: Jerry Boykin, Michele Bachmann, Chad Connelly, Erik Estep and Tony Perkins. | Family Research Council/Slido

Christians throughout the nation were encouraged to pray for Israel following an attack by the terrorist group Hamas during a special prayer event that called for the protection of the Jewish state amid a "battle" between "good and evil."

The Christian conservative advocacy organization Family Research Council co-hosted the Pray Vote Stand Townhall alongside the nonpartisan group Faith Wins on Sunday. The event was held at Village Church in Blythewood, South Carolina, and its senior pastor, Erik Estep, was one of the speakers. 

FRC President Tony Perkins said attendees gathered to show support for Israel amid a "spiritual battle" that he said is "raging" across the world. 

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"It's inescapable to me that Americans would support the brutality and those that would perpetrate the brutality that took place in Israel," Perkins said.

"How many know that there is a spiritual battle raging around this world tonight?"

Perkins contends the battle is taking place in the United States and God's people are called to "stand for truth." 

Following Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on civilian communities in southern Israel that killed over 1,400, including 30 Americans, many demonstrations have taken place in support of Palestinians.

Participants in several protests throughout the world have chanted "Gas the Jews," "Free Palestine," and some have called supporters of the Jewish State "pigs." 

Perkins quoted Genesis 12, which states, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Perkins asserted that this promise is still "active" today.

David Friedman, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2017 to 2022, tuned into the event remotely. Friedman is currently working with the families of the victims taken hostage by Hamas, Perkins noted. 

The terrorist group kidnapped over 200 people during the attack. While Hamas has released a few hostages, at least 10 Americans remain unaccounted for following the assault in southern Israel. 

"This is an existential battle. It's a battle between good and evil," Friedman said. "It's a battle for our souls. It's a battle for our Christian and Jewish souls."

"It's a moment in time where I think our children and our grandchildren and those we come, come upon later in life will ask us, where were you?" he asked. "What were you doing during those last two weeks of October in 2023? Did you stand with Israel?" 

The former ambassador condemned the various anti-Israel protests on college campuses, accusing the demonstrators of standing against the Jewish State at a time when Israelis are "bleeding." Friedman called on everyone to pray not only for the hostages and their families but also for the soldiers and volunteers helping the country, as well as military families.  

"We need we need moral strength; We need spiritual strength," he said. "We need military strength; we need all the strength that we can muster to defeat this extraordinarily dangerous and barbaric force of evil." 

Michele Bachmann, a former Republican congresswoman and dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, cited Hamas' founding documents, which call for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.

Bachmann, 67, referred to the terrorist group's Oct. 7 attack as "a fulfillment of the satanic demonic promise of Satan that he is going to conquer God." 

The 2012 presidential candidate asserted that Satan will not conquer God, pointing to the book of Revelation in the Bible, which shows God's victory over the devil. Bachmann urged attendees to not only pray in support of Israel but to take action. 

"We need to do everything that we can to stand with the Jewish people, to see this through to victory," she said. "And then we will find unmerited favor and blessing and grace and mercy in the same for the Jewish people."  

FRC's executive vice president, Jerry Boykin, a retired Army lieutenant general who served as the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush, made a similar call to action. He called on Christians not to let "evil people" win and stand with their Jewish brothers and sisters. 

Chad Connelly, president and founder of Faith Wins, an organization that educates church leaders and helps them expand their influence, shared that Israel is a common topic during meetings with pastors. 

In response to a question from Perkins about why pastors often refrain from speaking on political issues from the pulpit, Connelly suggested that even faith leaders need encouragement. Connelly urged the Church to "stand up and take back the righteous ground." 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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