ASIA/MIDDLE EAST - Evangelicals in Lebanon and Syria distance themselves from "Christian Zionists"

Monday, 16 September 2019 middle east   local churches   geopolitics   theology   evangelical

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - Reverend Joseph Kassab, President of the Supreme Council of Evangelical Communities in Syria and Lebanon (in the photo), launched an appeal to local and global media to avoid expressions that identify "evangelical Christians" as representatives of Western Christian groups committed to fervently supporting the State of Israel, justifying this option with religious arguments related to their view of history and eschatology. This identification - explained Kassab in an official statement released in recent days - fuels misunderstandings in public opinion to the detriment of the evangelical Christian communities present in Syria and Lebanon, which in following their faith have never failed to express their patriotism and also "support for the Palestinian cause". Evangelical Christians - argued the Christian exponent of Aleppo in his statement - cannot be identified with the positions and choices of those he has defined as "Christian Zionists", just as they cannot be attributed to Islam tout court the positions and initiatives of jihadist groups accused of terrorism. Kassab also wanted to point out that the evangelical communities in Syria and Lebanon "have no theological, doctrinal or administrative reference point outside the countries in which they live".
The abbreviations and Christian groups from which Kassab distances are those that interpret the creation of the State of Israel in an eschatological manner, and in the light of biblical prophecies consider the return of all Jews to the Promised Land as a condition to be fulfilled in order to hasten the end of time and the second coming of Christ. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2019)