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Evangelical Protestants sympathize with Israel, survey finds

June 23, 2011 | 11:37 am

Evangelical Protestant leaders from around the world said they sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians, although a small majority said they sympathize with both sides equally, a survey found.

Thirty-four percent of respondents in a new Pew Research Center global survey released Wednesday said they sympathize more with Israel, compared to 11 percent who sympathize more with the Palestinians. Some 39 percent said they sympathize with Israel and the Palestinians the same amount.

Sympathy for the Palestinians was strongest among leaders from the Middle East and North Africa, and strongest for Israel among leaders from sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, 30 percent said they sympathized more with Israel, 13 percent said the Palestinians and 49 percent said both sides equally.

Regarding leaders’ views on other religious traditions, Judaism ranked the most favorable among non-Christian groups, with 75 percent of respondents saying they have a favorable opinion, compared to just 33 percent who said they have a favorable view of Muslims, or 30 percent who said they have a favorable view of atheists.

On their views regarding evangelization, 22 percent viewed Jews as a “top priority” for evangelizing, compared to 73 percent who said the non-religious are a priority and 59 percent who said Muslims are a priority.

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