Knesset panel: ‘Strengthen ties with S. American Evangelical Christians’

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee on Foreign Policy urged the Israeli government Tuesday to garner support from Evangelical Christians around the world, and to strengthen its connection to those outside of the US.

The Jerusalem Post says the Foreign Ministry is trying in North and South America to appeal to televangelists to speak about Israel and invite Israeli ambassadors to their television and radio shows. In addition, the ministry is in touch with pastors of large churches.

[Subcommittee chairman Robert Ilatov] called for the ministry to increase its activity in Brazil, where there is “potential to change the government’s positions” due to the large Evangelical population.

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He criticized the government for not having a more focused policy in connection to pro- Israel Christians.

Wilf said she finds it exciting that there is a “new, young generation in Latin America that sees Israel as part of the foundations of its faith,” adding that this is a chance for the Foreign Ministry to do work for the long-term.

“It’s fascinating that in South America, an area that we’re used to seeing as either apathetic or anti-Israel, has hope for a deep change,” Wilf said.

According to Wilf, such a “transformation” could take 10 to 20 years. Therefore, she said she understands that it is difficult to strengthen pro-Israel sentiment in Brazil, where Evangelicals are “not used to translating their spiritual admiration to political support,” as opposed to the US, where there are organized and politically influential Evangelical groups.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday January 26, 2012.
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