EXCLUSIVE POLL: What do Americans think about Iran, Russia, COVID and Bible prophecy?

Do Americans believe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID pandemic
are BIBLICAL signs of THE “LAST DAYS”?

Do Americans believe Iranian leaders are planning a Second Holocaust
against Israel, if they acquire nuclear bombs?

The results of an exclusive poll commissioned by The Joshua Fund may surprise you

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund

April 2022

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – With the world undergoing such massive geopolitical and medical upheavals, are we just having a bad day? Or are we actually witnessing prophetic events that correspond to what the Bible describes as signs of the “last days”?

Are the events unfolding around us connected to the prophecies that Jesus Christ spoke of in the New Testament about the days before His return to earth?

  • “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you….You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom….all these are merely the beginning of the birth pangs.’” (Matthew 24:3-8)
  • “Then He continued by saying to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven….But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’” (Luke 21:10-11, 28)

Christians in the U.S., Canada, and worldwide – including Israel – are asking such questions. So, too, are members of the secular media – sometimes with genuine curiosity, though often with mocking disdain.

Consider a handful of recent headlines published in the U.S. and Israel:

In addition to severe concerns many Americans have over the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and whether it could lead to a broader conflict in Europe – even a nuclear war – many fear events will worsen.

For example, what if world leaders cannot find a diplomatic and peaceful way to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons? What might Iranian leaders do if they are able to build nuclear weapons? Might officials and clerics in Tehran make good on their vow to wipe Israel “off the map”?

HOW MANY AMERICANS ARE ASKING SUCH IMPORTANT QUESTIONS?

Despite the sneering among many in the media, these are essential questions.

And it’s not a tiny fringe of American society asking such questions.

These are concerns held by tens of millions of Americans of all races, religions, and regions of the country.

My colleague, Dr. Carl Moeller – the executive director of The Joshua Fund – and I have addressed them in several recent podcast episodes on “Inside The Epicenter.”

One of those episodes received a larger audience than any other we have recorded. I wrote about the podcasts in a column for ALL ISRAEL NEWS: “Are there biblically prophetic implications to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—could it trigger War of Gog & Magog found in Ezekiel 38-39?

Given the enormous interest in the troubling global headlines and trendlines, Carl and I decided to go further.

We commissioned an exclusive national poll to better understand the views of all Americans, including Evangelical Christians, concerning four specific questions:

  1. Do you agree or disagree that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which has ignited the biggest land war in Europe since World War II – is one of the signs that Jesus spoke of in the Bible when He warned that there would be “wars and rumors of wars” in the “last days” before His return?
  1. Do you agree or disagree that the COVID pandemic that has caused more than six million deaths worldwide is one of the signs that Jesus spoke of in the Bible when He warned that there would be severe “plagues” in the “last days” before His return?
  1. Do you believe that the new nuclear deal that the international community is negotiating with the leaders of Iran will make the world safer, or more dangerous?
  1. If the Iranian regime is ever able to build an arsenal of fully operational nuclear weapons, do you believe such weapons will pose a threat to the six million Jews who live in Israel and lead to a Second Holocaust?

The poll was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates. This nationally known and widely respected polling firm has performed scientific opinion surveys over the years for corporations, non-profit organizations, Members of Congress, American presidents, and foreign leaders, including in the State of Israel.[*]

Taken between March 17 and 22, 2022, the poll asked questions of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and over.

It has a 3.1% margin of error, plus or minus, at a 95% confidence interval.

Let’s examine the specific results of the new survey, question by question.

QUESTION #1

IS RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE

A BIBLICAL SIGN OF THE “LAST DAYS”?

First, we wanted to understand whether Americans of all backgrounds – including but not limited to Evangelical Christians – believe there is a larger and more profound significance to Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.

Some Christian leaders have speculated that the current war is setting into motion the prophetic war described in the Book of Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39), widely known among Bible scholars as the “War of Gog & Magog.”

My colleagues at The Joshua Fund and I believe it is premature to draw such a conclusion. Ezekiel 38 and 39 do not describe a Russian invasion of Ukraine. As I have written about widely – and discussed on the podcast – Ezekiel described a military alliance led by Russia and Iran against a prophetically reborn State of Israel in the “last days.” This war has never happened in human history, and the prophecy has yet to pass.

Still, do Americans see some prophetic significance to the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

In our survey, therefore, we asked:

Do you agree or disagree that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which has ignited the biggest land war in Europe since World War II – is one of the signs that Jesus spoke of in the Bible when He warned that there would be “wars and rumors of wars” in the “last days” before His return?

I was stunned by how many Americans said yes; they believe this is a prophetic sign.

  • Nearly 4-in-10 Americans (39.8%) said that they agree that the invasion is a sign of Biblical prophecy coming to pass and of the “last days.”
  • Nearly the same number – 40.3% – said they disagree.
  • Meanwhile, 19.9% said they don’t know.

The fact that many Americans don’t agree – or honestly admit they don’t know – makes sense. Although very few Americans study Bible prophecy these days. Many pastors and priests don’t teach Bible prophecy anymore.

Still, 40% say they do agree. How many people is that? According to the U.S. Census, in 2020, there were 258.3 million Americans age 18 or over. Forty percent of that number is 103.32 million people. That’s an enormous number.

Yet, by no means are all these Christians, much less Evangelical Christians.

Let’s dig deeper into the data.

BY RELIGION

  • 6.6% of atheists agree the Russian invasion is a sign of the “last days”
  • 10.4% of agnostics agree
  • 18.8% of self-identified “secular” Americans agree
  • 28.4% of Jews say they agree
  • 37.3% of Catholics say they agree
  • 53.8% of all Protestants agree
  • 70.1% of Evangelical born-again Christians agree

BY RACE

  • 32.8% of Hispanic Americans agree
  • 57.3% of African Americans agree
  • 37.6% of whites agree
  • 52.6% of Asian Americans agree

BY REGION

  • 37.1% of Americans who live in the East agree
  • 41.3% of Americans who live in the Midwest agree
  • 46.8% of Americans who live in the South agree
  • 27.7% of Americans who live in the West agree

BY AGE

  • 37.9% of young people, ages 18 to 29 agree
  • 48.9% of people ages 30 to 40 agree
  • 39.9% of people ages 41 to 55 agree
  • 37.9% of people ages 56 to 65 agree
  • 36.3% of people over 65 agree

BY GENDER

  • 36% of men agree
  • 43.4% of women agree

BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION

  • 46.3% of Republicans agree
  • 35.5% of Democrats agree
  • 37.3% of Independents agree
  • 44.1% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 agree
  • 36.3% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020 agree

QUESTION #2

IS THE COVID PANDEMIC A SIGN OF THE “LAST DAYS”?

Next, we wanted to understand whether Americans of all backgrounds – including but not limited to Evangelical Christians – believe there is a larger and more profound significance to the COVID pandemic.

In our survey, therefore, we asked:

Do you agree or disagree that the COVID pandemic that has caused more than six million deaths worldwide is one of the signs that Jesus spoke of in the Bible when He warned that there would be severe “plagues” in the “last days” before His return?

Again, I was surprised by the large number of Americans who said they agreed.

  • Fully 4-in-10 Americans (40.1%) agreed that the COVID pandemic is a sign of Biblical prophecy coming to pass and of the “last days.”
  • Some 41.1% said they disagree.
  • And 18.7% said they don’t know.

As with the Russia question, this indicates that more than 100 million Americans believe the COVID pandemic is a prophetic sign. That is a considerable number. It is also a marked increase from our last Joshua Fund poll.

Two years ago, in March 2020, we commissioned a national survey through McLaughlin & Associates for The Joshua Fund, just as the COVID pandemic swept the nation and the world.

We specifically asked if Americans believed that the coronavirus and the resulting economic meltdown were “signs that we are living in what the Bible calls the ‘last days.’”

At that time, we found that 29.4% said they agreed.

Thus, we have seen a nearly 11-point increase over the last Joshua Fund poll results. That is significant.

You can read more results from our March 2020 survey by clicking here.

[NOTE: Also, in March 2020, as part of The Joshua Fund’s educational mission, we released a 12-page fact sheet titled, What Does The Bible Teach About Pestilence, Plagues, and Global Pandemics?” I would commend both the survey and the fact sheet to your attention.]

Now, let’s dig deeper into the data. Once again, we find that it’s not just Evangelical Christians who believe the COVID pandemic is Biblically prophetic.

BY RELIGION

  • 5.1% of atheists agree the COVID pandemic is a Biblical sign of the “last days”
  • 9.7% of agnostics agree
  • 28.3% of self-identified “secular” Americans agree
  • 24.8% of Jews say they agree
  • 40.4% of Catholics say they agree
  • 52.7% of all Protestants agree
  • 65.6% of Evangelical born-again Christians agree

BY RACE

  • 34.0% of Hispanic Americans agree
  • 61.0% of African Americans agree
  • 36.9% of whites agree
  • 57.2% of Asian Americans agree

BY REGION

  • 35.7% of Americans who live in the East agree
  • 40.4% of Americans who live in the Midwest agree
  • 45.9% of Americans who live in the South agree
  • 33.0% of Americans who live in the West agree

BY AGE

  • 37.1% of young people, ages 18 to 29 agree
  • 51.0% of people ages 30 to 40 agree
  • 41.3% of people ages 41 to 55 agree
  • 37.6% of people ages 56 to 65 agree
  • 35.3% of people over 65 agree

BY GENDER

  • 35.1% of men agree
  • 44.8% of women agree

BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION

  • 47.1% of Republicans agree
  • 38.3% of Democrats agree
  • 33.4% of Independents agree
  • 41.6% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 agree
  • 39.1% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020 agree

QUESTION #3

Do you believe that the new nuclear deal that

the international community is negotiating with the leaders of Iran will make the world safer,

or more dangerous?

While the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID pandemic are current threats, we also wanted to understand how Americans view the significant emerging threat posed by the regime in Iran. Thus, we asked the next two questions:

  • Question #3 sought to measure Americans’ confidence in U.S. and international diplomatic efforts to prevent the Iranian regime from building nuclear weapons.
  • Question #4 sought to measure what Americans think the Iranian regime will do with nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails and Tehran acquires The Bomb.

Let’s begin on the diplomatic front. In our survey, we specifically asked:

Do you believe that the new nuclear deal that the international community is negotiating with the leaders of Iran will make the world safer, or more dangerous?

Respondents were able to give one of three answers:

  • Yes, I believe that a new Iran nuclear deal will make the world safer by truly preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons.
  • No, I believe that the new Iran nuclear deal will make the world more dangerous by lifting economic sanctions, giving Iran’s government enormous new oil revenues, and making it easier for Iran to fund – and hide – its efforts to build nuclear weapons.
  • I don’t know.

Though a new deal has not yet been finalized – or at least had not yet been announced publicly at the time of the survey – we found that Americans are profoundly skeptical diplomacy will stop the Iranian regime from building The Bomb. In fact, a plurality believes that such a deal will make the situation more dangerous.

  • Less than one-third of Americans (31.3%) believe that a new nuclear deal “will make the world safer by truly preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons.”
  • Nearly half of Americans (47.4%) believe that a new nuclear deal “will make the world more dangerous by lifting economic sanctions, giving Iran’s government enormous new oil revenues, and making it easier for Iran to fund – and hide – its efforts to build nuclear weapons.”

  • One-in-five Americans (21.3%) said they don’t know.

Let’s dive deeper into the data, looking specifically at those who believe that a new deal with Iran will make the world more dangerous.

BY RELIGION

  • 24.2% of atheists believe a new deal will make the world more dangerous, as do…
  • 47.8% of agnostics
  • 12.1% of self-identified “secular” Americans
  • 41.3% of Jews
  • 48.7% of Catholics
  • 51.9% of all Protestants
  • 55.3% of Evangelical born-again Christians

BY RACE

  • 32.3% of Hispanic Americans
  • 32.7% of African Americans
  • 53.1% of whites
  • 64.0% of Asian Americans

BY REGION

  • 40.6% of Americans who live in the East
  • 53.2% of Americans who live in the Midwest
  • 46.9% of Americans who live in the South
  • 48.2% of Americans who live in the West

BY AGE

  • 30.6% of young people, ages 18 to 29
  • 43.8% of people ages 30 to 40
  • 51.0% of people ages 41 to 55
  • 58.0% of people ages 56 to 65
  • 49.4% of people over 65

BY GENDER

  • 49.8% of men
  • 45.2% of women

BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION

  • 67.6% of Republicans
  • 28.2% of Democrats
  • 47.0% of Independents
  • 65.9% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020
  • 30.5% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020

QUESTION #4

If the Iranian regime is ever able to build

an arsenal of fully operational nuclear weapons, do you believe such weapons will pose a threat

to the six million Jews who live in Israel?

Finally, we wanted to measure what Americans think the Iranian regime will do with nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails and Tehran acquires The Bomb.

Thus, in our survey, we asked:

If the Iranian regime is ever able to build an arsenal of fully operational nuclear weapons, do you believe such weapons will pose a threat to the six million Jews who live in Israel?

Respondents were able to give one of three answers:

  • Yes, I believe the Iranian regime wants to use nuclear weapons to carry out their repeated threats to “wipe Israel off the map” and bring about a Second Holocaust.
  • No, I don’t believe a nuclear-armed Iran poses a real threat to Israel.
  • Don’t know.

what Americans think the

The results were clear: Americans overwhelmingly fear that the Iranian regime seeks to destroy Israel and bring about a Second Holocaust.

  • Fully 2-out-of-3 Americans (67.6%) said they believe "the Iranian regime wants to use nuclear weapons to carry out their repeated threats to 'wipe Israel off the map' and bring about a Second Holocaust."
  • Only 12.5% said, "no, I don't believe a nuclear-armed Iran poses a real threat to Israel."
  • One-in-five Americans (19.9%) said they don't know.

Let's look deeper into the data.

We found widespread agreement across religions, races, regions, and other categories that Iran is an existential threat to the State of Israel.

Most Evangelical Christians believe this, but so do most Americas of all backgrounds.

BY RELIGION

  • 49.7% of atheists believe Iran’s regime wants to destroy Israel, and so do…
  • 59.3% of agnostics
  • 40.1% of self-identified “secular” Americans
  • 80.0% of Jews
  • 71.2% of Catholics
  • 74.9% of all Protestants
  • 77.1% of Evangelical born-again Christians

BY RACE

  • 53.8% of Hispanic Americans
  • 59.1% of African Americans
  • 73.0% of whites
  • 37.8% of Asian Americans

BY REGION

  • 67.2% of Americans who live in the East
  • 71.0% of Americans who live in the Midwest
  • 75.7% of Americans who live in the South
  • 64.4% of Americans who live in the West

BY AGE

  • 49.5% of young people, ages 18 to 29
  • 62.7% of people ages 30 to 40
  • 66.7% of people ages 41 to 55
  • 77.2% of people ages 56 to 65
  • 77.2% of people over 65

BY GENDER

  • 74.9% of men
  • 60.7% of women

BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION

  • 79.1% of Republicans
  • 57.0% of Democrats
  • 66.7% of Independents
  • 78.3% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020
  • 58.0% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020

FINAL THOUGHTS

Given these trendlines, I encourage Christians worldwide to consider taking a few specific and practical steps:

  • Please “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) more faithfully and urgently than ever. Gather your family and friends to pray for peace in Jerusalem and in all the cities, towns, villages, and nations in the Middle East, the region I call the Epicenter.
  • Please pray for leaders in the United States, Israel, and throughout the Arab and Muslim world to have the wisdom to know how best to handle these serious matters. As the Apostle Paul commands, let us “pray for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (I Timothy 2:2)
  • Please pray for our enemies. Include the regime in Tehran and the terrorist organizations they fund, arm, train, and direct, so the Lord might change their hearts and turn them away from evil. As Jesus Himself commanded us, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Matthew 5:43-46)
  • Please pray for – and do your best to encourage – your pastor and the ministry leaders and their staff and families at the church congregation you attend. Feel free to give them copies of this study if you feel it would be helpful.
  • Please subscribe to our “Inside The Epicenter” podcast, available on all podcasting platforms and The Joshua Fund’s YouTube channel. Dr. Carl Moeller and I regularly discuss the latest issues facing Israel and the Arab/Muslim world from a Biblical perspective, including Bible prophecy and current events.
  • Please also consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the work of The Joshua Fund. We are a non-profit ministry founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her Neighbors in the name of Jesus, according to the Abrahamic Covenant found in Genesis 12:1-3. Over the past 15 years, we have invested more than $80 million in strengthening the Church in the Middle East and educating Christians worldwide about God’s love and plan for Israel and her Neighbors. Thanks, and may God bless you.


[*] The Joshua Fund is a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-political organization. The purpose of this survey was to better understand how the American people view world events and Bible prophecy. The results are not intended for partisan political purposes, or to influence legislation at the international, federal, state, or local levels.

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