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Backlash against campus extremists brings Christians and Jews together

“We have a problem with the younger generation. We haven’t passed along the connection we have with Israel,” leading U.S. evangelical broadcaster says.

Troy A. Miller, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters. Source:
Troy A. Miller, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters. Source:

The actions of an extremist minority on college campuses across the United States have created a backlash that is bringing Christians and Jews together against the woke-driven anti-Israel ideology permeating the mainstream media, the head of a prominent group of American Christian media broadcasters said this weekend.

Troy A. Miller, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), spoke during a visit to Israel following months of anti-Israel protests at American universities that have shaken the American Jewish community in ways not seen since World War II.

“These radical groups have overplayed their hand and the backlash is now starting to surface,” Miller told JNS in an interview in Jerusalem. “Instead of driving Christians and Jews apart, this is driving them together.”

The Nashville-based evangelical broadcaster said that the present climate afforded a major opportunity for Christian and Jewish groups in the U.S. and beyond to work together against a cancel culture inflicted on both by a boisterous minority. That minority, he said, has overstepped itself in both verbal and physical violence.

“We know that Sunday follows Saturday,” he said. “The mistakes made by Christian communities in the past are not going to be repeated.”

National Religious Broadcasters head Troy A. Miller (center) and another evangelical broadcaster speak with an IDF captain at the site of the Supernova massacre near Kibbutz Re’im, May 2024. Photo: Courtesy.

The next generation of Christian leaders

Miller’s wartime visit comes at a time when polling has shown a precipitous drop in support for Israel among young evangelicals—impacted by both social media and their peers over the images coming from Gaza—after years of burgeoning relations between the Jewish state and the largely conservative evangelical community in the U.S.

“We have an educational problem with the younger generation,” Miller said. “We haven’t passed along the history and the connection we have with Israel. We need to do a better job.”

He said that the polling is a “flashing yellow light,” and that the evangelical community should be bringing young Christian leaders and pastors to Israel to experience firsthand the history and simple geography of the country. An initiative is in the works to make this happen.

“If they [young evangelicals] are hearing through social media that Israel is the ‘oppressor,’ the ‘colonizer’ and is victimizing the Palestinians, and at the same time they are not hearing a counter-message from their church, their family or the media, they will accept that view of Israel,” he said.

At the same time, when American students who have a strong faith-based backgrounds are presented with the full picture, they are more inclined to be supportive of Israel than their secular counterparts, Miller added. “They are not as dug in.”

He noted that the type of protests at Ivy League and coastal colleges have not been successful at campuses in the South and parts of the Midwest. “The battle within the young generation is the battle against ignorance,” he said.

Israel has lost the media war

According to Miller, Israel has lost the war in the mainstream media because of a broad, longstanding and deep-rooted “socialist-woke” ideology that has created an ingrained bias in reporting.

“The war has only served to exacerbate that,” he said. “How this [war] all started has been forgotten.”

The weeklong trip of select evangelical Christian media influencers was organized in collaboration by the NRB, a coalition of Conservative Christians and Jewish leaders, known as Keep God’s Land, and Israel365, an Orthodox Jewish institution that works with Christian supporters.

The visit included a tour of the southern communities that were overrun by Hamas almost eight months ago and briefings with government leaders and coincides with the annual Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast. It seeks to build firsthand awareness of what happened during the Oct. 7 massacre, in which terrorists killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted another 252 to Gaza.

“As media leaders, it is crucial for us to commit to moral clarity in these troubling times, and as Christians, we need to pray steadfastly for peace to prevail for all those living in Israel and throughout the Middle East,” Miller said.

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