This week we saw an example of why those who are in authority need to be particularly careful with their words because they have the power to influence many people. Sadly, the Pope has this week spread anti-Israel propaganda against Israel that is likely to lead many people astray.

As Bible believing Christians, we believe in the authority of God’s Word. Therefore, we believe Israel was given to the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance, as written in the Bible. We also believe that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed. Additionally, God warns that those who divide up the land of Israel will be judged by God Himself. It is based upon our Biblical beliefs that we view Israel today and the ongoing conflict.

Unfortunately, it seems that Pope Francis has been swayed away from Biblical truth and instead to the narratives of the day. Especially since he now sees Israel’s legitimate attempt to defend itself from Hamas as being “terrorism” and the Vatican’s official broadcaster displayed messages that Israel was committing “genocide”, both of which are false.

This is problematic because, first of all, it’s misinformation. Israel’s actions are not terrorism and there is no “genocide” in Gaza. Unfortunately, Palestinian activists are masters of manipulation and having met with the Pope, there is no doubt he was influenced by what they were telling him.

Second, because the Pope has a massive influence on the world. As head of the Catholic Church, the Pope is seen by many governments, the media, and indeed most non-Christians as the highest voice of authority in Christianity. There are also 1.3 billion Catholics on earth today, meaning he has influence over around half of the global Christian population. Clearly, the Pope is influential and his words matter.

So what did Pope Francis say? His direct quote was this, “They suffer so much and I heard how they both suffer. Wars do that. But here we have gone beyond wars. There is no longer war. This is terrorism.”

Pope Francis here is equating the actions of Israel and Hamas.

He then said, “Please, let’s go forward for peace. Please pray for peace. Pray a lot for peace.”

Immediately after he said this, the crowd started to applaud. The camera then switched to Palestinian families (activists) who were holding up signs depicting dead bodies and the words “Genocide” and “Nakba” as well as one who was holding up the famous four picture map that allegedly shows Israel stealing Palestinian land.

This was no accident. The Pope did not mince his words. The camera man was already set to film the shot of the family, zooming in on the picture showing the bodies of Palestinians before panning the camera to specific the other messages. The editor of the broadcast switched the cameras at the perfect time, directly after Pope Francis’s words. The commentator of the broadcast also highlighted the scene being shown.

This was all planned and coordinated for maximum effect. It was shameful propaganda spread from the Vatican and the Pope himself.

You can watch the incident for yourself below:

The Bible is clear that we must have integrity. We must not lie. Calling Israel’s actions “genocide” is a lie. Calling Israel’s legitimate war against Hamas “terror” is a lie. Spreading that lie is sin.

The Bible declares the land of Israel as being for the Jewish people. To depict that Israel stole the land is going against the authority of God’s word. Why was such a poster allowed to be used in the vicinity, and why did the broadcaster choose to highlight it?

The Bible is also clear that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. Spreading propaganda against Israel that demonises the Jewish state with falsehoods is not blessing Israel, it’s doing the opposite.

Shamefully, Pope Francis’s words have spread far and wide. Headlines about him calling Israel’s actions “terrorism” have been broadcast in mainstream media outlets all week with many using them to attack Israel.

As Christians, we understand that people are fallible. Everyone makes mistakes, including the Pope. However, many Catholics revere the Pope as God’s spokesman, the authority of God here on earth. He has a bigger responsibility than most to ensure his words are not misunderstood because the impact of his words cannot be downplayed. There will be many followers of Christ who now view Israel’s actions as “terrorism” and that they are committing a “genocide” against the Palestinians all because of this misinformed comment.

The Pope’s position is not neutral. Hamas’s actions are terrorism. They are war crimes. Every single Israeli civilian held inside of Gaza as a hostage is a war crime. This is not the case for Israel’s actions. Israel is legitimately fighting a war against terror in an attempt to free its hostages and protect itself from future attack.

It may appear admirable to stand up for peace and to appease both sides, but peace cannot happen when the enemies of Israel seek the destruction of Israel at all costs. And the Bible is clear that nations will rise up against Israel and that when they do this they are going against the God of Israel. Therefore, the Pope should be standing Israel, calling on Hamas to surrender and give back the hostages.

We need to pray that the Pope wakes up to the truth of the Bible concerning Israel. This week he failed to do that. His words resulted in hatred and lies being spread against Israel and that is extremely dangerous. The prophet Zechariah said, “He who touches you [Israel] touches the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8). In other words, anyone who harms Israel is harming God. Christian leaders should understand this better than anyone.