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Should U.S. Bomb Syria? Evangelical Leaders Take Surprising Vote

National Association of Evangelicals finds out where its members stand.

As Congress debates whether or not America's military should intervene in Syria after chemical weapons killed nearly 1,500 people, a survey of evangelical leaders nationwide reveals how they would vote.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 churches from 40 denominations, asked its board members: "Should Congress authorize direct U.S. military intervention in Syria?"

The result: 62.5 percent said no, while 37.5 percent said yes.

"I was surprised because I expected the answers would be the other way around," writes NAE president Leith Anderson in announcing the survey results (first to Religion News Service).

He acknowledges the broad agreement on "serious consequences" for the use of chemical weapons, but also notes, "Christians in Syria have been victims during the past two years of civil war. We don't want to make their lives worse."

Geoff Tunnicliffe, leader of the World Evangelical Alliance, also spoke out against American military intervention yesterday during a conference of Christian leaders being held in neighboring Jordan.

"There is a major consensus amongst the Christian leaders in this region that any military intervention by the United States will have a detrimental effect on the situation and in particular for Christians in Syria," Tunnicliffe wrote to the White House and the United Nations. "Christians have already been threatened in Syria by some of the opposition indicating that a post regime Syria will be Muslim and Christians will not be welcome."

Religion News Service reports on the Jordan conference. Meanwhile, CNN explains how Syria "became a religious war."

CT has previously reported on Syria as well as just-war theory, especially related to debate over the Iraq War and how it called for some "serious rethinking" by Christians.

CT also examined whether or not the U.S. military should stay involved in Afghanistan, including a response by political philosopher Jean Bethke Elshtain, who recently died.

Posted:September 5, 2013 at 2:27PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

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