Christians United for Israel Hosts First National Church Event This Sunday

John Hagee Has Signed Up 800 American Churches for Christians United for Israel Sunday.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

This Sunday's a big one for Christians United for Israel, the nation's major Christian Zionist organization. You'll remember that its leader, the Texas-based evangelist John Hagee, received a lot of attention last year when his endorsement of John McCain for president triggered allegations that he'd made anti-Catholic statements in the past. Although Hagee has been the face of Christian Zionism in the United States for years, McCain rejected his endorsement after video surfaced of the pastor making controversial statements about the Holocaust (prominent Jews like Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman came to Hagee's defense).

This Sunday, Hagee's group will sponsor its 100th "Night to Honor Israel"—a pro-Israel rally for evangelicals—in Colorado Springs, Colo. These rallies feature short Hebrew lessons and Jewish songs in Hebrew. To get a sense for how this works, check out the video above from a 2006 rally in Dallas.

Also this weekend, Hagee's group will sponsor its first Christians United for Israel Sunday. Churches around the world have been invited to dedicate their services to supporting the Jewish state. Eight hundred American congregations have signed up to take part.

Participating pastors are asked to dedicate their Sunday sermons to Israel and to get congregants to sign Christians United's "Israel pledge":

We believe that the Jewish people have a right to live in their ancient land of Israel, and that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of this historic right.

We maintain that there is no excuse for acts of terrorism against Israel and that Israel has the same right as every other nation to defend her citizens from such violent attacks.

We pledge to stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel and to speak out on their behalf whenever and wherever necessary until the attacks stop and they are finally living in peace and security with their neighbors.

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