Evangelicals Try to Correct 'Misperception' on Middle East

July 31, 2007

Author: Michelle Rindels

Source: Religion News Service


A broad coalition of evangelical leaders is attempting to "correct a serious misperception" that all evangelicals oppose creating a Palestinian state.

Led by Ron Sider, a professor at the American Baptist-affiliated Palmer Theological Seminary and head of Evangelicals for Social Action, the coalition sent a letter to President Bush expressing support for a proposed two-state solution.

"The only way to bring the tragic cycle of violence to end," reads the July 27 letter, "is for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a just, lasting agreement that guarantees both sides viable, independent, secure states."

Historically, evangelicals have adopted a pro-Israel stance in defense of the biblical "chosen people." The letter reflects a more nuanced perspective on the conflict -- one that affirms legitimate property rights on both sides while also placing blame for violence on both sides.