The eruption of a new conflict in Israel has flooded evangelical social media with the white and blue flag bearing the Star of David in its center. This new stage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has revived the popularity of Zionism within this religious segment, even prompting expressions of support from this religious bloc in Congress.
For those unfamiliar with evangelical beliefs, this unwavering support for a religion that does not acknowledge the central tenet of Christianity—recognizing Jesus Christ as their sovereign messiah—might initially seem paradoxical.
In truth, for many centuries, Protestants—precursors to the Pentecostalism that now dominates this Christian faction in Brazil—did not pay much attention to Jerusalem. The city, contested by Palestinians and Israelis, held more symbolic significance for Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, as Pastor Valdinei Ferreira, leader of the First Independent Presbyterian Church of São Paulo, pointed out.
So, what changed? In the 20th century, theologies emerged that started interpreting biblical prophecies involving the Apocalypse and the return of Jesus literally.
Modern events, such as the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, following the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish community, are viewed through this prophetic lens. Evangelical groups believe in Jesus' return to Earth to preside over the Final Judgment. According to these prophecies, the rebirth of Israel—the state that emerged after the Holocaust—would coincide with the second coming of the Son of God.