Following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, where more than 1,200 innocents lost their lives, Christians United for Israel, an evangelical lobbying group with more than 10 million members, tweeted this message:
“To the terrorists who have chosen this fight, hear this: what you do to Israel, God will do to you. Despite today’s weeping, joy will come because he [God] who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”
Soon after, the Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has 45,000 churches in the US, issued this statement:
“In the wake of the evil and indefensible atrocities now committed against the people of Israel by Hamas, we, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the violence against the vulnerable, fully support Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack, and urgently call all Christians to pray for the salvation and peace of the people of Israel and Palestine.
“While our theological perspectives on Israel and the Church may vary, we are unified in calling attacks against Jewish people especially troubling as they have been often targeted by their neighbors since God called them as His people in the days of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3).”
The fervent evangelical support comes as no shock, considering the significance the evangelicals attribute to the emergence of the State of Israel which is populated by Jewish people. A prominent aspect of evangelical theology asserts that the return of Jews to the Holy Land initiated a countdown to Armageddon, culminating in the anticipated return of you-know-who.
Be that as it may, in a world where most of the responses to the massacre of Jews have been calls to massacre even more Jews, the powerful evangelical support is nothing to scoff at.
And this support has not been limited to encouraging tweets, there has been a wave of tangible support for Israel in money and supplies.
The October 7 terrorist attack destroyed 14 Magen David Adom ambulances, and Samaritan’s Purse, the American evangelical humanitarian-aid organization, decided to replace them.
Parked at the plaza at the National Library of Israel, each of the 14 ambulances was dedicated on Wednesday in memory of an MDA medic killed in action. One by one, the inscriptions on the ambulances were unveiled, as family and friends got the chance to see and touch their loved one’s memorial ambulance for the first time.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see for myself how the men and women of MDA are risking their lives for others when I visited several of the communities in Israel that were brutally attacked,” said Franklin Graham, the President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse.
“At Samaritan’s Purse, we need to have the necessary equipment to do our work around the world, and MDA has to have the right equipment to do its work to save lives here in Israel. This is why we want to give MDA this gift to save lives,” he said. “It is an honor to dedicate these ambulances today, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to help MDA continue its heroic and exceptional work.”
In addition to the 14 ambulances dedicated today, Samaritan’s Purse is donating seven armored ambulances to MDA, which are still in production and will be dedicated some time this spring.
A delegation of the group Passages, a Christian organization that brings students to Israel to experience the roots of their faith and to build bridges of friendship with the Jewish people and the State of Israel, on Thursday donated half a million dollars to the Gaza envelope communities.
The delegation visited Netiv Ha’Asara and Kfar Aza, two of the hardest hit communities in the October 7 massacre, and gave each community $250,000 and a plaque that expressed love and solidarity and offered assistance in rebuilding their lives.
The funds will fund psychological counseling for some of the younger members of the communities to help them deal with the horrors of that day. Passages will make further donations to help with memorial projects and will continue to bring their student delegations to both communities as they have in the past.
The delegation also visited the memorial to the victims of the Nova Festival and met with those evacuated from the south in Tel Aviv and Shefayim. The delegation also met with Yami and Naomi Weiser, whose son, Staff Sergeant Roey Weiser was killed while saving 12 of his fellow soldiers on the Erez Crossing base on October 7th.
“These are two places where we have taken over 11,000 college students on Passages trips in the last eight years,” said Scott Phillips, CEO of Passages. “In these communities live our friends, people we know, people we work with, people our students and alumni have interacted with.”
“As an organization that seeks to build bridges of friendship with Israel and the Jewish community, Passages will show up and continue to show up to stand in solidarity with Israel. And we’ll continue to introduce more and more young Christian leaders in America to Israel’s story,” Phillips said.
David Parsons, vice president and spokesman for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, told The Washington Post on November 7, 2023, “I don’t think we’ve ever raised so much money so quickly. People are responding like never before,” including donations from Nepal, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, “where people are poor but want to help Israel.”
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews swiftly responded to the Saturday morning attack by distributing flak jackets and first responder kits, as reported by its CEO, Yael Eckstein. In the aftermath, the organization strategically placed 30 mobile bomb shelters along Israel’s northern border to safeguard against Hezbollah rockets originating from Lebanon, where conflict erupted following the Hamas attacks in the south.
A portion of the $14 million raised within the initial weeks has been allocated for immediate needs, such as acquiring vehicles to transport elderly and disabled individuals from the war zone. The funds have also been used to provide sustenance for thousands of displaced families. Through an emergency war campaign by the Genesis 123 Foundation, survivors from a farming community were accommodated in a hotel for two weeks. Additionally, “nonlethal equipment” like bulletproof vests, Shabbat meals, and laundry detergent has been supplied to Israeli soldiers in the field.