The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) condemns the horrific violence in Israel and Palestine, and mourns the tragic loss of life in the region. Hamas and other militant groups brutally attacked innocent civilians. They and their supporters should be held accountable for terrorism. We also urge world leaders to use all available diplomatic resources to bring an end to the fighting, support the safety and dignity of all people impacted, and renew the search for durable peace.
The NAE recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, as noted in a 1970 resolution on the Middle East:
We of the National Association of Evangelicals recognize the rights of all nations in the Middle East, both Israeli and Arab, to exist as sovereign nations from the perspective of biblical and historical positions. We express our profound interest and concern in the welfare of and rehabilitation of refugees, Jew and Arab, wherever they are found, [and] our interest in a fair and impartial hearing for all parties. We call our churches to pray for peace in the Middle East, for the witness of the Christian church in all Middle Eastern countries, and for the “peace of Jerusalem” in its prophetic and scriptural significance.
The actions of Hamas do not advance peace, but rather cause loss of life and harm, grief and devastation, not only to the individuals affected, but also to the aspirations of the Palestinian people to live in peace and freedom.
Actions by Israel that go beyond self-defense by taking revenge on those living in Gaza risk inflicting further suffering on innocent civilians while undermining the long-term security of the Israeli people.
The NAE calls on all Christians to pray for an end to fighting and for lasting peace, for the healing and restoration of all who have been injured and traumatized by the violence, for the protection and safe return of those who are being held hostage, for the strength and witness of Christians on both sides of the conflict, and for justice to prevail.