Christian Zionism is an ideology that, in a Christian context, espouses the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land. Likewise, it holds that the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 was in accordance with Bible prophecy: that the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Levant — the eschatological "Gathering of Israel" — is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The term began to be used in the mid-20th century, in place of Christian restorationism, as proponents of the ideology rallied behind Zionists in support of a Jewish national homeland.
Advocacy on the part of Christians for a Jewish restoration grew after the Reformation, and is rooted in 17th-century England. Contemporary Israeli historian Anita Shapira suggests that England's Zionist evangelical Christians "passed this notion on to Jewish circles" around the 1840s, while Jewish nationalism in the early 19th century was largely met with hostility from British Jews.
Christian pro-Zionist ideals have generally been common among Protestants since the Reformation. While supporting a mass Jewish return to the Land of Israel, Christian Zionism asserts a parallel idea that the returnees ought to be encouraged to reject Judaism and adopt Christianity as a means of fulfilling biblical prophecies. Polling has suggested a trend of widespread distrust among Jews towards the motives of evangelical Christians.