In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu mentioned that there are "tens of millions of Evangelical Christians in the United States" that are supporters of Israel. (Netanyahu, who gave away 80% of the city of Hebron during his tenure as Prime Minister, is beginning his bid for re-election.) His numbers are based on a statement made by John Hagee, leader of a large Christian congregation in Texas. Hagee claims that there are 70 million Evangelicals in the United States that stand united with Israel. I have heard and read many other Christian leaders toss these numbers out as if they were actual figures. The truth is, in fact, they are not. Updated [December 25, 2005]: According to current census figures Evangelicals only make up 7% of the entire U.S. population, which is currently ~288,000,000. The total population of the U.S., age 15 and up, is 230,400,000. Now, 7% of that is only 16,128,000, so where does anybody come up with 50-70 million Evangelicals?
There is nowhere even close to 70 million Christians in the U.S. who support Israel. By support I mean they don't just give money and hold bless Israel and Jerusalem days once or twice a year. I am speaking of people who constantly intercede for strength and faith in Jacob, who constantly pray for the peace of Jerusalem, who seek out the work that they can do to help build up the land of Israel; people who do this all without regard as to whether it will bless the U.S. or not, people who are dedicated to the re-establishment of the Kingdom of God, not the Kingdom of the United States.
How do I know for a fact that there are not 70 million Evangelicals in the United States? By mere observation. Last year the Women in Green (a Jewish organization based in Israel, and worthy of support I might add), in conjuction with several Christian organizations, held a rally near Crawford, Texas to protest U.S. President George W. Bush's demands that Israel give up more land to their enemies. The event was highly publicized in the national Christian media and on the Internet. How many people attended the rally? By several accounts, including pictures of the event, there were no more than 700 people there, and most of them were from one large congregation in Oklahoma led by a man who, by his own confession, is only working to help Israel in order "to keep America from going down the tubes." The previous year, in a similar rally, only 175 people showed up. In another rally in Washington, D.C. last year, sponsored by several very large Christian organizations, the crowd was no more than 1,000 people. I have seen it over and over and over again. If there were 70 million Evangelicals in the United States, wouldn't at least a few million of them show up at some of these rallies, prayer meetings, and conferences? In a recent interview with Tovia Singer of Arutz Sheva, Bill Koenig, a well known author and publisher of "Koenig's International Watch", said that the number of U.S. Christians that support Israel is not as large as is being reported. Koenig stated:
"I go to a lot of these events and you pretty much see the same people over and over again ... dare I say and I'm finally understanding that the remnant, the Christian Zionist, Christian fundamental remnant is a lot smaller than we all thought. It might be in the couple of million range, they are very passionate, aggressive, strong and committed ... but when it really comes to people who will really go for it ... I really don't think our numbers are as much as we thought they'd be ... there's a lot of Christians who love Israel but we are really a very small number compared to the over-all pie."
Why is it important to highlight this fact? Because as long as Israel thinks it has the support of 70 million Evangelicals in the United States they will think that these Christians have access to the government (most true Christian supporters of Israel are not very political) and will believe that they can effect changes in the U.S. government. Look around. Have Christian supporters of Israel been able to stop George W. Bush from dividing up the land of Israel? They haven't even been able to get his attention. I'm not talking about Christian leaders here, I am speaking of those Christians who support Israel, regardless of the effects it has on the U.S.
What do you think will happen when Israel realizes one day that, out of 270 million people in the U.S., they only have a few million (if that many) supporters? What do you think will happen when they realize that they have been lied to about these '70 million Evangelicals in the U.S.' who support them? We need to make Israel aware that, while they do not have the support of 70 million Evangelicals in the U.S., the support they do have is true. Let them know that we won't back down, no matter what the obstacle. Let them know that it doesn't matter what George W. Bush — or any other government official, for that matter — wants to do with Israel. We will support the Jewish people living in the land of Israel, " from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates" (Exodus 23:31). Let them know that we follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the God of the U.S. political system. The God of Israel doesn't need a large amount of people to work through. He has always used a small remnant.
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)