A recent survey of American evangelicals revealed that the three strongest predictors of evangelical support for Israel include age, their opinions of Jewish people, and socialization. Evangelicals more than twenty-nine years of age tend to view Israel more favorably; evangelicals who see the Jewish people favorably tend to see Israel more favorably; and evangelicals who hear other evangelicals talking about the importance of Israel tend to support Israel.
The study also found less but statistically significant factors indicating support for Israel, including adherence to dispensational theology—belief that the Jewish people remain God’s chosen people—consistent church attendance, and conservative political affiliation.
The Survey Details
The study, conducted by LifeWay Research and analyzed by researchers from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and East Carolina University, surveyed one thousand evangelical respondents in April 2018 using an online questionnaire. The analysts described their test group in the following way:
In our survey, the majority of evangelicals and born-again Christians are white (65% of the sample), concentrated mostly in the Southeast (38.3%) and the Midwest (22.5%), and are most likely to hold a high school diploma (37%) or have “some college” experience (29.8%), without obtaining either an associate or baccalaureate degree. They live predominantly in rural (37%) and suburban locations (42%), and their mean household income is roughly $40,700. Sixty-one percent of the respondents in our survey are female. An average age of our respondent is 49.3 years of age and 57.3% of the respondents are married.
The study’s online structure allowed respondents to answer sensitive questions more honestly and made it easier to utilize a five-to-seven-point rating scale, the study’s authors wrote. The survey—sponsored by Academic Engagement Network, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Chosen People Ministries—asked respondents to rate Jewish- and Israel-related statements according to the following metric: (1) strongly disagree; (2) disagree; (3) somewhat disagree; (4) neither agree nor disagree; (5) somewhat agree; (6) agree; (7) and strongly agree. Some examples of statements included, “I support Israel because of my shared cultural and/or religious values,” “I support Israel because Jews are God’s chosen people,” and “I support Israel because its existence is proof of the fulfillment of prophecy regarding the nearing of Jesus’ Second Coming.” 
The Three Strongest Predictors of Evangelical Support for Israel
The study found that the three strongest predictors of evangelical support for Israel include a positive opinion of Jewish people, socialization with others who speak highly of Israel, and being over the age of twenty-nine.
(1) A Positive View of Jewish People
The study’s results revealed that one’s opinion of the Jewish people is the most significant predictor of support for Israel. Those who viewed the Jewish people positively were three times more likely to support the State of Israel than those who did not. When evangelicals perceive an affinity with the Jewish people based on common cultural and religious values, the authors wrote, they tend to be highly favorable toward Israel. The authors added they think that churches should capitalize upon this fact by nurturing a positive view of Jewish people to increase support for Israel in their congregations: “While this is, in some ways, an obvious conclusion, there is an important message here.…[O]ur analysis shows that nurturing a positive opinion of Jews, irrespective of theology or other potential explanations, may be the best way for evangelical leaders to promote support for Israel among their congregations.”
(2) Socialization with Pro-Israel People
Previous studies concerning evangelical support for Israel have largely ignored the important factor of socialization. This study found that socializing with others who view Israel positively was the second most important contributing factor to one’s perception of Israel. “Being around other evangelicals who talk about Israel and about its importance to the evangelical community is one of the most significant predictors of support for Israel, second only to the influence of positive opinion of Jews,” the authors wrote.
Respondents who attended church frequently and spent time socializing with pro-Israel evangelicals were almost three times more likely to highly support Israel than those who did not. According to the analysis, “This process of socialization, through which individuals become aware of politics, learn political facts, and form values and attitudes, is an important part of the explanation of evangelicals’ support for Israel.”
(3) Being over the Age of Twenty-Nine
The study also found that evangelicals under the age of thirty viewed Israel significantly more negatively than older generations. Younger evangelicals were more likely to view Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians critically. The study’s authors believe one contributing factor to this finding is the fact that younger respondents were more likely to profess moderate political positions than their conservative-leaning elders. “Among 18–29 years old, moderates/centrists comprise the largest proportion (30.36%) of respondents, with another 29% expressing a preference for liberal positions.” Another factor may include different concepts of justice between older and younger respondents, since many millennials view Israel’s actions as unfair to the Palestinians.
Three More Predictors of Evangelical Support for Israel
In addition to the above three factors, the study also found one’s theology, church attendance, and political affiliation to be statistically significant indicators of support for Israel, though not as important as the former three factors.
(1) A Pro-Israel Theology
The study revealed that respondents who stated they believe biblical prophecy connects Israel to the Second Coming of Jesus were more likely to show high levels of support for the Jewish state than respondents who did not hold to that eschatology. Similarly, respondents who agreed with the statement that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people were more likely to support Israel than those who disagreed with the statement. Lastly, evangelicals who agreed with the statement that God will bless those who bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3) were more likely to support Israel.
(2) Frequent Church Attendance
The study found that evangelicals who frequently attended church were 1.215 times more likely to support the nation of Israel. However, young evangelicals under age thirty who frequented church remained more critical of Israel.
(3) Conservative Political Affiliation
Finally, the survey showed that respondents who selected “slightly conservative,” “conservative,” or “extremely conservative” for their political ideology were 1.312 times more likely to support Israel than their liberal or centrist evangelical peers.
In conclusion, the LifeWay Research poll and its analysis revealed that the three strongest predictors for evangelical support of Israel include a positive view of Jewish people, socialization with peers and churches who support Israel, and being over the age of twenty-nine. Other lesser predictors include a pro-Israel theology, frequent church attendance, and a conservative political ideology. The analysts found that neither education, race and ethnicity, income, marital status, area of residence, feelings of guilt for the Church’s historical antisemitism, geopolitical safety concerns, nor the shared political values of Israelis and Americans played any role in shaping evangelical support of Israel.
by Jennifer Miles
 Motti Inbari, Kirill M. Bumin, and M. Gordon Byrd, “Why Do Evangelicals Support Israel?” Politics and Religion 14, no. 1 (2021): 1–36.
 Ibid., 10.
 Ibid., 9–10, 15.
 Ibid., 19.
 Ibid., 17.
 Ibid., 13.
 Ibid., 18.
 Ibid., 18–19.
 Ibid., 4–5, 16.
 Ibid., 17.
 Ibid., 2, 22.
 Ibid., 17.