A Palestinian Christian leader has demonized evangelical Christians as being “pulpits in the service of the Zionist enterprise.”
In fact, the head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna stated that “evangelical Christians” or “Zionist Christians” do “not belong to Christianity,” and that they “have no connection to the values of Christianity.”
Hanna said that neither the Christian nor the church dictionary contain anything called “evangelical Christians” or “Zionist Christians.”
He added that “the aforementioned do not belong to Christianity at all; they have no connection to the values of Christianity and to the evangelical principles that always prefer to identify with the deprived and ill-fated of the world. They are closer to Judaism and Zionism and have no connection to Christianity.”
Hanna said “the Christian Evangelists are tantamount to pulpits in the service of the Zionist enterprise. They are enemies of the Christian values, and when they come to Palestine they do not visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity, but rather the colonies located on the stolen lands of our people as a sign of solidarity with the occupation.”
Palestinian Media Watch has reported on Hanna’s activities in the past, among them visits to families of imprisoned terrorists and advocacy against “normalization” with Israel.
Support for the State of Israel remains a central value for a large number of evangelicals throughout the world, many of whom visit Israel and support political candidates that reflect their position. According to Professor Elizabeth Oldmixon of the University of North Texas around one third of the American evangelical population (about 15 million people) are ardent supporters of Israel.