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  • There's a church in the city of Bethlehem.

  • It was built on the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born.

  • It's called the Church of the Nativity.

  • If you consult UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites,

  • or ask travel expert Rick Steves,

  • both will tell you that the church is in Palestine.

  • But when a question about the church's location came up

  • during a round of Jeopardy in January 2020...

  • What is Palestine?

  • No.

  • What is Israel?

  • That's it.

  • That answer set off something of an internet firestorm.

  • That's because what you call this land, and who controls it, is at the center of

  • a decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

  • But more recently, there is also a third group

  • that is becoming more and more influential here and throughout the Middle East,

  • American evangelical Christians.

  • Today, evangelical Christians are one of the most

  • politically powerful voting blocs in the United States.

  • And in the Trump administration, they've been given unprecedented power.

  • They've turned support for Israel and hostility towards its enemies

  • into core tenets of conservative ideology.

  • And a big part of those policies is rooted

  • in how they interpret the Bible.

  • In 2016, more than a quarter of all US voters

  • identified as white evangelical Christians.

  • One of the primary differences between evangelicals and other Christians is their

  • relationship with the Bible.

  • Conservative evangelicals believe that the Bible is literally true.

  • Sarah Posner writes about religion for a bunch of different publications.

  • Many of them believe that the Bible is sort of this prophetic

  • road map for modern life, that events described and prophesied in the Bible

  • will it will become true.

  • The Bible is the most historically accurate book ever penned.

  • The Bible is the one book that dares to predict the future with 100% accuracy.

  • For evangelicals, the most important of the Bible's prophecies is

  • the second coming, when Jesus will return to Earth.

  • The Bible doesn't say when this will happen,

  • but it does say where.

  • This is Jerusalem.

  • World history as we know it is going to end right here.

  • Greg Laurie is an evangelical preacher,

  • one of several who meet regularly to advise President Trump.

  • They're the leaders of megachurches with tens of thousands of members.

  • And many of them, including Greg Laurie, preach a belief called Christian Zionism,

  • the idea that the return of the Jewish people to Israel is one of a series of

  • events that will trigger Jesus's second coming.

  • Jesus is telling us that the rebirth of Israel is a sign of the end.

  • Not just a sign, it's the super sign.

  • According to this theology, God will reward those who help Israel

  • and punish those who don't.

  • Jesus will be on his throne and he separates the nations.

  • On what basis? How they treated Zion.

  • Let's back up.

  • After the Holocaust, the UN divided up the then-British territory of Palestine,

  • home to more than a million Arabs, into two states,

  • giving Jews who had been persecuted in Europe a homeland.

  • Over the next few decades, Israel fought multiple wars with its Arab neighbors

  • and seized much of the land that had been originally set aside for Palestinians.

  • Evangelical Christians see that as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

  • It happened exactly as foretold. It was a miraculous act of God.

  • They own that land, and they own that city.

  • Ever since, groups like Hamas have been fighting against the Israelis trying to

  • win that territory back.

  • And the government of Iran has been one of their biggest supporters.

  • That's part of the reason Iran plays such an important role in evangelical beliefs

  • about the present state of the world, and the future.

  • According to Christian Zionism,

  • if the US wants to be on the right side of biblical prophecy,

  • they need to do everything possible to protect Israel and punish Iran.

  • That also helps explain why a different Bible story is also really important to them.

  • The Old Testament story of Esther, about a plot to destroy the Jews of Persia,

  • or modern-day Iran.

  • The Book of Esther plays such an important role for Christian Zionists

  • they've made multiple movies out of it.

  • He has convinced your husband to destroy all the Jews, including you.

  • Esther saves the Jews by using her persuasion with the king.

  • Evangelicals who are very wrapped up in this kind of theology,

  • because Persia is modern-day Iran, they sort of contextualize this Bible story

  • into foreign policies.

  • Could it be that that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this,

  • just like Queen Esther. to help save the Jewish people from an Iranian Menace?

  • As a Christian I certainly believe that's possible.

  • I'm confident that the Lord is at work here.

  • Secretary of state Mike Pompeo and vice president Mike Pence both identify as evangelical Christians.

  • And both have enormous influence over American foreign policy.

  • A ProPublica investigation found that Pence routed millions of dollars in foreign aid

  • that had been earmarked for humanitarian projects in Iraq, diverting it towards

  • Christian groups in the country.

  • When President Trump approved the drone strike that killed Iran's top military commander in January 2020,

  • it was, according to the Washington Post, at Pompeo and Pence's urging.

  • When President Trump moved the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,

  • the move had more support from American evangelicals than American Jews.

  • The other news swirling around the embassy's move to Jerusalem is what it could signal as part of biblical prophecy.

  • Donald Trump recognized history.

  • He, like King Cyrus before him,

  • fulfilled the biblical prophecy.

  • That evangelical support isn't an accident.

  • The Trump administration courts it.

  • After the administration put out a peace plan that would have given Israel

  • unprecedented control over Palestinian land,

  • The Christian broadcast network interviewed Trump's ambassador to Israel.

  • You're talking about opening up the Bible, bringing it back to life in ways

  • that I think your listeners could not have even have imagined.

  • it's an opportunity for biblical tourism that I think will grow and flourish in profound ways.

  • The network's coverage followed his lead.

  • Good news in this proposed peace plan.

  • Israel would have sovereignty over many historical biblical sites.

  • For evangelical Christians in America, the Bible isn't just a foundational text,

  • it's a prophetic road map that tells the future and shapes the way they view the present.

  • And for an influential group of them, that motivates their support for a foreign policy

  • that they see as affirming those prophecies,

  • and a president who depends on their votes.

  • you

There's a church in the city of Bethlehem.

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聖書の予言がトランプ氏の外交政策をどのように形作るか (How a Bible prophecy shapes Trump's foreign policy)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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