As Israel welcomes its new prime minister, Christians in the U.S. promised to support the new leadership.

More than 80 Christian leaders sent a letter to congratulate and give thanks to new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Initiated by the Philos Project, a nonprofit based in New York City, the letter is signed by heads of several Christian denominations, including Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians around the world, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Bennett, 49, was officially named the new prime minister on June 13th and successfully formed a coalition government. He replaced Benjamin Netanyahu, who held the position for 12 years.

We want to thank you in advance for protecting our shared values as they apply to Israel’s citizens, whether Jews, Christians, Muslims, or Druze; for guarding the holy sites and welcoming religious pilgrims from around the world to discover the birthplace of their faith.

Part of the letter reads: “We want to thank you in advance for protecting our shared values as they apply to Israel’s citizens, whether Jews, Christians, Muslims, or Druze; for guarding the holy sites and welcoming religious pilgrims from around the world to discover the birthplace of their faith; for defending Israel from outside aggression; and for continuing to work toward peace with Israel’s neighbor.”

The Christian leaders pledged to, “deepen our friendship with your country and its wonderful people.”

Representatives from various Christian organizations signed the letter, including the American’s National Prayer Committee, National Religious Broadcasters, Christians United for Israel, The King’s College, International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, and The Congress of Christian Leaders.

Philos Project president Robert Nicholson said the transition of leadership in Israel is a historic one. “Things are changing politically, and we thought this event was momentous enough to lead this effort and show the prime minister, the coalition and the world that there is not only real Christian friendship for Israel and the Jewish people, but a very wide-ranging group of Christians who care about the country and its people.”

Joel Rosenberg, founder of The Joshua Fund, wrote an article explaining that the support of Christians for Israel is based on the “Abrahamic covenant” and the command in the Bible to bless Israel and its people. He believes that “Evangelicals will generally be inclined to support and pray for the new Israeli government.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, Nikki Haley, congratulated Bennett and assured U.S.’ continued support for Israel, reports Christianity Daily. “We are committed to the undeniable bond between the US & Israel,” she said.

Georgia pastor Jentezen Franklin called for Christians to pray for Israel and its new government. He hopes that the good relationship between Christians and Netanhayu will continue under Bennett’s leadership. “Evangelicals are proud of our friendship with Netanyahu, a friendship that will continue.”

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