Notable Evangelical leaders have signed a letter urging key political leaders to take a stand against antisemitism, support Israel and respond to the massacre by Hamas on Oct. 7, which they described as the most “significant since the Holocaust.”
The letter, a copy of which was provided to The Christian Post, urges Congress to “without delay take the following specific steps to fight antisemitism and ensure that the Jewish state survives this horrific attack.”
“We represent many faith traditions and have come together, in one united voice, to defend our shared humanity against barbarism and terror,” the letter released on Monday states.
The Christian leaders call for concrete steps from Congress, such as funding Israel’s defenses, passing acts against antisemitism and overseeing measures to prevent and punish hate crimes in the U.S.
The letter also urges maintaining sanctions on Iran and supporting Israel’s defense against Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations. The signatories also affirm their solidarity with the Jewish people and Israel and urge all Americans to join them.
According to the Israeli prime minister's office, more than 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, with 6,900 others injured since Hamas terrorists launched unprecedented surprise attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.
In their letter, the Evangelical leaders describe the killings as the “most significant massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
“In the wake of this horrific terror, antisemitic protests erupted in the United States and around the world. We will not remain silent in response. Like the signatories of this letter, the majority of Americans continue to stand by their Jewish brothers and sisters in the United States and in the Jewish homeland of Israel. As Jews remain the target of more than half of religion-motivated hate crimes in the United States and as Israel faces a fight for its survival, Americans of all faiths and backgrounds must take action now,” they wrote.
“With this letter, we issue a united condemnation of antisemitism and proclaim our support for Israel’s right to self-defense. The United States government, and the people’s representatives in Congress, cannot waver both in combatting antisemitism and in supporting the State of Israel.”
Signatories of the letter include: Ralph E. Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition; Timothy Head, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition; James Dobson, founder and chairman of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute; Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas; Jonathan Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University; Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia; Jack Graham, senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas; John Hagee, CEO and pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas; Richard Land, executive editor of The Christian Post and president emeritus of Southern Evangelical Seminary; David Olson, senior pastor of Heartland Church in Ankeny, Iowa; Gordon Robertson, CEO and president of The Christian Broadcasting Network; James Robison, founder and president of LIFE Outreach International; Jordan Sekulow, president and CEO of ACLJ Action; and Rabbi Tuly Weisz, president of Israel365 and editor of The Israel Bible.
“As faith leaders representing many traditions, we affirm our support for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. We call on Americans of all religious backgrounds to join us in pledging our unwavering commitment to stand by our Jewish brothers and sisters,” the letter concludes.
In October, Southern Baptist Convention leaders took the lead in releasing a statement backed by dozens of Evangelical leaders condemning attacks by Hamas and expressing their support for Israel's "right and duty to defend itself against further attack."
At the time, Land, who also signed the letter, voiced his solidarity with the Jewish community, which he said had been distressed by the lack of global outrage.
"I've been contacted by several of my Jewish friends. And they're disturbed," Land said. "They're very concerned that there hasn't been more outrage and there hasn't been more condemnation of these atrocious acts."
"Hamas is a terrorist organization," he continued. "They don't want to negotiate with the Israelis. Hamas wants to drive the Jews into the sea and eradicate them. They are promoting genocide. They're even worse than the Nazis because at least the Nazis tried to hide what they were doing. Hamas is promoting what they're doing. Israel has every right to defend itself against the savagery.
"We've heard people talking about the clash of civilizations between Islam and Christianity. This is not a clash of civilizations. This is a clash between civilization and barbarism," he said.
Land, who is also president emeritus of Southern Seminary in North Carolina, criticized attempts by some to draw a moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas, stressing that such equivalences are misplaced and indicate a "demagnetized" moral compass.
He called upon U.S. policymakers to provide Israel with the necessary means to defend itself.
"They're not asking us for any troops," he said. "They're just asking us for the means with which to defend themselves against these atrocious kinds of attacks."
"It's important that we stand in solidarity with our Jewish friends," he added. "This is barbarism, as low as it gets. Civilization just must not put up with it."
Read the letter in full below:
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org