Young evangelical Americans are increasingly diverging from their elders’ support for Israel, Haaretz reported about a new survey. Richard Flory, CRCC’s director of research and evaluation, explained in the article that the generational shift is part of a larger trend of younger people leaving religious groups or expressing their faith in new ways. The article also references Nick Street’s piece in Religion & Politics about this shift.
Here’s an excerpt:
“They would look like evangelicals – meaning they have a high view of the Bible and would follow the traditional evangelical scriptural teachings – but they are parting company because their life experience is different than their parents’,” Flory says. He adds that many have lost interest due to the politicization of their faith and moved on to promote peace and social justice in their own ways.
“My dad is huge on end-times prophetic stuff,” Ephraim Gatdula, a 27-year-old evangelical from Long Beach, California, is quoted as saying in University of Southern California research conducted by Flory’s colleague, Nick Street. “I’m a believer that God didn’t tell us specifically what’s going to happen and when he’s going to do it, so why bother looking through Scripture for it?” Gatdula asks. Instead, he chooses to focus on the needs of homeless people and the “working poor” in his neighborhood.
Representing the next wave of Christianity, the majority of this younger generation holds a completely different set of social and political perspectives, including on Israel.
“They’re not in any way opposed to Israel – they just don’t elevate or view it in the same special way their parents’ generation did,” Flory observes. “They would frame it less as ‘We’re on the side of Israel’ than ‘We’d like to see peace to all people in the region.’ They’d say, ‘We’re not interested in favoring Jews over Palestinians.’”
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