Recently, US President Donald Trump authorized a drone strike that killed the powerful Iranian general, Qassem Solemani. This helped the US get a stronger foothold in the Middle East, but this was not the only reason Solemani was targeted.
Part of the reason for the strike was also because politically powerful Evangelical Christians, who form a very large voting base for Trump, believe that the US and Israel are a part of the Bible’s plan to bring about the ‘Second Coming’ of Jesus. The Second Coming refers to Jesus’s return on Earth.
During the Trump dispensation, conservative American Evangelical Christians became increasingly influential in both the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine conflict. They have immense support for Israel and harbor hatred towards its enemies. Their support for Israel is based on their interpretation of the Bible.
The Voting Base And The Bible
According to a survey conducted by the National Election Pool, Evangelical Christians form a twenty-six percent voter base in the US. This alone makes them one of the most politically influential groups in the country.
Unlike other Christians, conservative Evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is literally true and they view the holy book as a prophetic roadmap for the modern world. They believe that the events prophesized in the Bible will happen in the future.
The Second Coming
For evangelical Christians, the most important foresight of the Bible is the Second Coming when Jesus will return to Earth. Even though the Bible does not give a timeline for the Second Coming, it does give its location as Jerusalem.
Many powerful Evangelical Christians preach “Christian Zionism”, according to which, the return of the Jewish people to Israel is an event in a chain of events that will elicit Jesus’s Second Coming. As per this belief, God will reward the ones who help Israel and punish the ones who do not support it.
Iran And The Evangelicals
During the course of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran has been supporting Palestine. “The Zionist regime is dried and rotten tree that will be destroyed by one storm,” said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former President of Iran.
This is one of the reasons why Iran plays such a significant part in the Evangelicals’ beliefs about the current and future situations of the world. And, for them, if the US wants to be on the right side of the prophecy, then it must do everything it can to protect Israel and punish Iran.
Another reason for the hostility of the Evangelicals towards Iran is an old testament story called “The Book of Esther”. This is a story about a conspiracy to annihilate the Jews of Persia (present-day Iran).
Bible Prophecies And Foreign Policies
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the US Vice President, Mike Pence, identify as Evangelical Christians. Needless to say, they hold immense power over the US’s foreign policies.
According to a report by ProPublica, Mike Pence’s office interfered in foreign aid to redirect money to favoured Christian groups.
Even Trump’s decision to kill the powerful Iranian General this year was, as per the Washington Post, based on Pence’s and Pompeo’s urges.
Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel was more popular among Evangelical Christians than among American Jews.
This year, the Trump administration even put forth a peace plan that would have given Israel unprecedented control over Palestinian territories. To this, the US ambassador to Israel said in an interview with CBN News, a Christian news channel, “You are talking about opening up the Bible. Bringing it back to life in ways that I think your listeners could not have even imagined. It is an opportunity for Biblical tourism that I think will grow and flourish in profound ways.”
Does this mean that the Trump administration works to gain the Evangelical support? Or this is all a coincidence?
Image Source: Google Images
Connect With The Blogger: @yuksxo