Christian Zionists blocking efforts for peace?
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Bible Belt zealots hit Holy Land harmony
US Christian Zionists are a threat to any peace between Israel’s Muslims, Christians and Jews
Amid the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel, the traditional Christian Churches in the Holy Land continue their struggle to survive. But they do not merely face the challenges of security, discrimination, lack of jobs and emigration. Increasingly, they have to contend with Christian Zionists, an energetic brand of evangelical sects, who, like the Jews, see modern Israel, created in 1948, as synonymous with the biblical Israel promised to Abraham for all eternity in the book of Genesis.
However, unlike the Jews, they see the Jewish presence in Israel as the precursor for “the rapture” or the Second Coming of Christ. So keen is their desire to see Jews settle in Israel that they raise millions of dollars to support projects in Israel. Christian Friends for Israel even runs a shop in Jerusalem providing Israeli couples with wedding gowns, morning suits and accessories, all donated by supporters from around the world.
However, the presence of Christian Zionists in the Holy Land is blocking efforts to build peace between Muslims, Jews and Christians, according to Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the local Franciscans. During a recent visit to London, Father Pizzaballa said: “Many Protestant sects are now coming into the Holy Land, mainly from the United States. They have a messianic vision of the land. Some want to convert all the Jews because they believe when this happens the Messiah will come. [continue reading]