Christians United For Israel (CUFI)
Israel enjoys enormous support in America, with Christians United for Israel being one of its major champions. Members can lobby their representatives during an annual summit in Washington or at nationwide ‘Nights to Honor Israel’ events hosted by Christians United.
Hagee launched Night to Honor Israel in 1981 by reaching out to Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg of Rodfei Sholom in San Antonio; their organization represents itself as God’s instrument in supporting Israel.
Early Life and Education
Hagee’s theology is grounded in Pentecostal word of faith traditions known as ‘prosperity gospel,’ which attribute material wealth and physical health to divine favor. Additionally, his church practices dispensational theology that believes God deals with humanity at different periods known as dispensationsal periods or dispensationsals (Hagee 2000). Hagee considers himself premillennialist, meaning that he believes Jesus will return prior to setting up His millennial kingdom on Earth (Hagee 2000).
At present, he serves as national chairman for Christians United For Israel (CUFI), an organization which unites pro-Israeli Christian groups and individuals across America. With an enormous following and one of the country’s largest lobbying efforts, Israeli political leaders recognize its power. Partnering with this organization often increases support for Israel in Congress.
CUFI is one of the nation’s largest Christian lobbying groups with 10 million members, serving as an influential political force on the religious right and often visited by potential Republican presidential candidates.
John Hagee is a controversial Christian Zionist pastor based out of San Antonio who leads Cornerstone Church as well as Christians United for Israel (CUFI). They were among those lining the convention center escalators, along with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and former CIA director James Woolsey; all were joined by John Hagee – an unrepentant supporter of Israel who heads Cornerstone Church as well as Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
Hagee has made hateful antisemitic statements in sermons, suggesting in one instance that Hitler was sent by God to carry out biblical prophecies that either end in conversions of non-Christians (including Jews ) to Christianity or their destruction. Regardless, Israeli leaders have accepted Hagee and his followers into partnership in hopes that supporting Israel will bring about an apocalyptic event which will save Christians while punish Jews.
Achievement and Honors
Hagee has made Israel advocacy the centerpiece of his ministry for years. He has spoken at AIPAC events and collaborated with Jewish leaders – such as Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. Additionally, his annual Night to Honor Israel event in San Antonio raises millions of dollars for Jewish charities and the state.
He has lectured widely on biblical prophecy, earning a great deal of admiration among those looking for deeper insight into end times events. Additionally, he supports numerous missionary efforts.
Hagee founded Christians United for Israel to give voice to the millions of devout American evangelicals who support Israel. Since its launch, this lobby group has become a powerful lobby force in Washington and state capitals, often leaning right. Hagee named Diana Hagee and Shari Dollinger from his team as co-executive directors of this organization.
Hagee is best known for overseeing a Christian home that gives young pregnant teen mothers an alternative to abortion: raising their offspring rather than aborting. Additionally, he established the CUFI Foundation which offers financial support to organizations and individuals that promote Christianity principles.
Hagee has caused considerable consternation with his controversial views regarding Catholicism, Jewish people and Islam. Furthermore, he has promoted a blood moon prophecy, which could signal Armageddon’s approach.
Hagee is currently married to Diana Castro and shares five children together: Cristina, Matthew, Sandy and Tish. In total he has 13 grandchildren. Prior to Diana Castro he had married Martha Downing but they eventually parted ways due to differing life goals in 1975.
Hagee has written over 30 major books, some of which made the New York Times Best Seller list. Additionally, his worldwide TV show airs. Additionally, he has donated generously to humanitarian causes worldwide.
Hagee founded Christians United for Israel (CUFI) on February 7, 2006. CUFI is now the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization and works to lobby members of Congress in support of Christian Zionism. Hagee has drawn considerable criticism for his anti-Catholic comments such as his suggestion that Adolf Hitler learned antisemitism from Pope Pius XII’s church and its teachings.
At home in Texas he lives in a multimillion-dollar mansion, owns multiple properties around the state, and ranks among one of its richest pastors. Additionally, he’s well known evangelical preacher giving talks at large events around America and worldwide.