The majority (82%) of Evangelical Christians have “at least some doubts” about the safety of touring Israel, according to a new survey released Thursday by Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research.
Some 60% have fairly significant concerns about it, the survey said.
The research surveyed more than 1,000 American Evangelical Protestants who agreed with four basic religious premises: The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe; it is important for me to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their savior; Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin; and that only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
According to the researchers, around 23% of Americans can be considered Evangelical based on this criterion.
The survey found that only 7% of Evangelicals have actually been to Israel but that 80% are at least moderately interested in traveling to the Jewish state.
Safety seems to be the number one deterrent to travel to the Holy Land, according to the survey. Among the roughly 20% who are not interested in visiting Israel, they usually see it as unsafe.
The survey asked respondents to rank how safe it would be to travel to Israel on a scale of one to five, with one being “not safe at all” and five being “extremely safe.” Overall, 14% gave Israel's safety the lowest mark and 13% gave Israel a two.
Only 18% said it is extremely safe to go to Israel.
However, among the 40% (23.6 million people) who are extremely interested in visiting Israel, according to the survey, more than a third (34%) believe it would be extremely safe for them to go. A total of 63% of this group feel travel to Israel is generally safe. Only 3% said it would not be safe at all.
In contrast, among those who are not at all interested in visiting Israel, only 5% feel it is extremely safe and a total of 9% feel it is generally safe.
The story changes when a person actually visits Israel, however. The survey found that among those who had been to the country, 68% ranked it a four or five for safety.