Diverse Christians, citing Bible prophecy, show remarkable unity.

It seems generally that the Christians who most vocally support Israel are conservatives—those with a higher regard for biblical prophecy than liberal Protestants. But that is not always the case. An unusual meeting in Washington last month brought together mainline Protestants and Catholics from across the country, as well as those conservative Protestants who stand strongly for the defense of Israel on biblical grounds.

The National Christian Congress for Israel opened just eight days after the assassination of Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat, and scarcely an hour before the U.S. House of Representatives voted against the sale of AWACS (Advanced Warning and Control System) aircraft to Saudi Arabia. That confluence of events heightened the sense of urgency felt by the participants.

Franklin H. Littell, president of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, which sponsored the event, said the congress was planned to unite Christians from a diversity of denominations and organizations in their common concern for the safety of the Jewish homeland. “We didn’t know we’d be meeting at the most crucial time on the calendar for Israel’s survival,” he observed.

Attracting approximately 100 participants from across the country, the meeting opened with briefings by Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) and Robert F. Drinan, a Roman Catholic priest and former congressman from Massachusetts, who is now a professor of international law at Georgetown University Law Center. Numerous ecumenical and interfaith groups were represented, along with the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies, which is a conservative Southern Baptist School; the charismatically oriented Melodyland Christian ...

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