Majority of South Believes God Gave Israel to the Jews

A recent national poll of over 2,000 Americans found that the majority of white evangelical Protestants and those in the South support the belief that the state of Israel was given to the Jewish people by God.

Among the surveyed religious groups, white evangelical Protestants stand out with 69 percent supporting the belief that God gave Israel to the Jewish people, according to the survey released by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life last week. Moreover, a full 59 percent subscribe to the belief that Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

The views were also well accepted among black protestants with 60 percent believing Israel was given to the Jews by God and 56 percent believing Israel fulfills the prophecy of the second coming.

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However, the percentage supporting these views dropped significantly among Catholics and white mainline Protestants, which both raked percentages in the low twenties for both views.

In addition to their strong support among white evangelical Protestants, the beliefs were also popular in the South with some 56 percent believing that God has bestowed Israel to the Jews and nearly half, 45 percent, saying Israel fulfills biblical prophecy on the second coming of Jesus.

Findings also show that a majority of those who view the Bible as the literal Word of God say Israel was given by God to the Jews and that Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy (70 percent and 62 percent, respectively). The numbers were significantly lower among those who do not believe the Bible is the actual Word of God.

A more recent Pew survey conducted Aug. 9-13 found a majority of Americans (52 percent) sympathized more with Israel when compared with the Palestinians (11 percent). Support is stronger among those who believe that Israel was given by God to the Jewish people and those who see Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

Regarding the second coming of Jesus Christ, the results reflect the importance of this teaching in most Christian traditions with 79 percent of Christians saying they believe that Christ will return to earth someday. Only 20 percent believe Jesus will return to earth in their lifetime.

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