Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons—and whether it called for American military intervention—prompted much debate among Christian leaders over just-war theory and whether the fortunes of local Christians should determine the U.S. government's decision.
The answers below are listed on a spectrum from "Yes, foreign policy should be determined by its impact on Christians," to "No, it shouldn't be."
"Military intervention should be determined by many factors, including its effect on Christians. If true shalom is found not in killing all the bad guys, but in the death and resurrection of Jesus—the one who died for bad guys—then destroying his body hinders true peace."
— Preston Sprinkle, author, Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence
"Countries that protect religious minorities tend to be good global partners. Thus, it makes sense to prioritize religious freedom in foreign policy. However, military intervention is rarely an effective way to promote religious liberty abroad."
— Peter Feaver, professor of political science and public policy, Duke University
"Foreign policy should be guided by principles of public justice, which require that all persons be treated equitably. It should never favor one religious group over another, but should take into account the possible impact on minority groups."
— David Koyzis, professor of political science, Redeemer University College
"Foreign policy shouldn't be shaped to favor Christians as Christians. Instead, governments should use their global influence to encourage other governments to do what they're supposed to do: maintain order and secure some reasonable sort of justice."
— Bryan McGraw, associate professor of politics, Wheaton College
"It's never right for Christians to ask one government to attack another only to spare Christians. God authorizes government to punish wrongdoers (Rom. 13:4), but not outside its own jurisdiction and never to promote any ideal—even if it keeps Christians safe."
— Daniel Heimbach, professor of ethics, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
For more responses, see our longer article, "Should Syria's Christians Be Our Top Priority?"
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