Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is an American Christian organization that supports actively Israel." It is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States. Operating under the leadership of John Hagee, it provides a national association through which churches, parachurch organizations, ministries, and individuals in America promote support for Israel financially and politically.
"Christians United for Israel" was originally formed in 1992 by David Lewis. However, the organization later became inactive. The evangelical minister John Hagee sought and received permission from Lewis to use the title for his own organization. Hagee called upon Christian leaders in America to join him in launching his new initiative. Over 400 leaders, each representing a denomination, mega-church, media ministry, publishing company, or Protestant university voiced support and Christians United for Israel was created. Hagee would legally incorporate the revived organization on February 7, 2006. Since its reorganization it has operated out of San Antonio, Texas, where Hagee has long operated his own ministry.
The first college chapter of Christians United for Israel was established at California State University, Bakersfield. At the 2011 CUFI Washington Summit, it was reported that "CUFI on Campus" chapters had been formed or were in the process of formation on over 75 college campuses and CUFI was reported to have a presence on 225 campuses.
CUFI host "Nights to Honor Israel" events in cities across the United States to express Christian solidarity with the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Such "Night to Honor Israel" events have often sought to include members of local Jewish communities. Funds raised are often given to the local Jewish federations to assist with efforts in Israel. One such "Night to Honor Israel" event was covered by Minnesota magazine TC Jewfolk in 2010.
CUFI holds an annual summit to enable delegates to personally speak with their representatives on behalf of Israel. In response to particular current events, CUFI also mobilizes its members through Rapid Response Alerts to raise popular support for Israel and lobby the U.S. Congress in support of Israel.
On July 22 CUFI held their 2008 National Night to Honor Israel. Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Pastor John Hagee and Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) spoke with live music interludes. For the first time CUFI hosted several prominent Catholic leaders in a show of unity between Pastor Hagee and the Catholic Church. CUFI held an annual Washington Summit July 20–23, 2009. The most recent CUFI annual Washington Summit took place on July 20–22, 2010. Israeli PM Netanyahu addressed the gathering by videoconference.
At CUFI's 4th annual convention, CUFI Florida state director Scott Thomas, who is senior pastor at Without Walls Central in Lakeland, Florida, states that CUFI's support of Israel is not related to Christian eschatology (one of the features of dispensationalism, which holds that the modern state of Israel has a central role in bringing about the second coming of Jesus Christ) since Christians believe that there is nothing they can do to speed up that process. Thomas also cited Chapter 12 of Book of Genesis, which states that God will bless those who bless the Jews and curses those who curse the Jews, and said that his Christian faith couldn't exist without the foundation of Judaism. CUFI partners with Jewish interfaith organizations such as the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, who has publicly disagreed with Hagee, wanted Jews to stop cooperating with CUFI, because Yoffie felt CUFI had an unacceptable political agenda.
Prior to his death in 2007, Rev. Jerry Falwell sat on the Executive Board. In early 2008, he was replaced in his seat by his son, Jonathan Falwell.