The National Association of Evangelicals conducted a poll of its member pastors and found that 62.5 percent oppose U.S. military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
"Should Congress authorize direct U.S. military intervention in Syria?" the survey asked. Only 37.5 percent answered "yes," NAE President Leith Anderson announced in a statement to Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service.
The National Association of Evangelicals represents 40 evangelical Christian denominations and over 45,000 local churches. Not all evangelical denominations are NAE members, though. more >>
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the U.S. of using the "pretext" of chemical weapons to attack Syria, and warned on Thursday that America will "suffer" if it decides to intervene in the conflict.
"The United States is wrong about Syria, and it is certain they will suffer... just like in Iraq and Afghanistan," Khamenei said, according to Al Jazeera.
The chief of Iran's elite Quds Force unit, Qassem Soleimani, added in a separate statement that Iran would stand behind Syria "until the end." more >>
Roma Downey, the Irish-born actress and co-producer of the hit History Channel miniseries "The Bible," along with the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), called for religious tolerance and respect between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East at an event hosted by Jordan King Abdullah II in Anman, which ended Wednesday, to discuss the escalating violence against Christians in the region.
Downey, who attended the event with her producer husband Mark Burnett, spoke Tuesday as a representative of the WEA, which represents more than 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, before an influential group of guests, which included the Jordan King's Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Vatican representatives.
"I personally experienced firsthand the impact of sectarian violence and religious discrimination," said Downey, who drew a parallel between the religious violence engulfing the Middle East today to the Catholic-Protestant violence that took place in her native Northern Ireland, according to a copy of her speech obtained by The Christian Post. The former "Touched by an Angel" actress noted some of the crackdown efforts done to fellow Catholics in her hometown of Derry, which she described as "a city divided by a river with Catholics living on one side and Protestants on the other." more >>
Former U.S. Army private Bradley Manning is seeking a presidential pardon for his 35-year-prison term after being convicted of espionage and other charges when he leaked classified U.S. documents to the WikiLeaks website in 2010. Manning states in the petition, released Wednesday, that he leaked the documents "out of a love for my country and sense of duty to others," as he questioned the morality of U.S. occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, sent the pardon request Tuesday to the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of the Army, arguing that the documents leaked by Manning in 2010 were not all considered to be classified or top secret. Although during the trial, prosecutors against Manning argued that his leaking of classified documents endangered the U.S., Manning's lawyer wrote in the pardon request that none of the leaked documents caused any "real damage to the United States."
Manning, 25, added in the petition that he decided to leak 700,000 U.S. security documents to the website WikiLeaks because he felt that the U.S. had "consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan." more >>
While some have speculated about the possibility that the ongoing Syrian civil war may be connected to the End Times, many theologians are skeptical.
Dr. Floyd Elmore, professor of theology at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, N.C., told The Christian Post that no one could have absolute certainty on a connection. "Since the Lord said 'no man knows the day or the hour when He comes,' I don't really think that anyone can say with absolute certainty that these specific events are going to lead to the End Times Catastrophes," said Elmore.
Elmore also talked about how events like Syria could be used as "stage props" when showcasing a possible end of days. "'Stage props' that would make a very good End Times scenario, but since we're supposed to be expecting the Lord to come at any time, I think there have been very good stage props in every generation," he noted. more >>
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has refused to back a Senate resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to launch a limited military strike on the Syrian government, insisting that more aggressive measures need to be taken to end the deadly conflict.
"In its current form, I do not," McCain told The Associated Press on Wednesday, referring to a resolution put forth by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), which places a 90-day limit on military action in Syria and blocks U.S. troops from being sent into the troubled country.
McCain, who spent over five years as a prisoner of war in north Vietnam before beginning his political career, has agreed with Obama that the evidence points clearly that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the chemical attacks in August that killed at least 1,429 civilians, more than 400 of whom were children. more >>