Pro-Israel Christians Protest Durban III

(Alfred/Sipa via AP Images)
A coalition of Christian leaders is holding a protest against what it sees as United Nations-sanctioned racism. Thousands of protesters have gathered to rally against the U.N. conference known as Durban III, which is widely criticized as a platform for anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric. The controversial conference begins on Thursday.

The purpose of Durban I and II was to end racism and bigotry, but it instead became an international stage for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. It was at Durban II where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel "the most cruel and racist regime,” prompting America, Canada and many European nations to walk out. Durban II also featured a flyer that included a picture of Adolf Hitler, with text that asked, “What would have happened if I had won? All good things.”

Leading the charge on the protest is Dr. Robert Stearns, founder of Eagles' Wings, a global missional community headquartered in Buffalo that works to touch Israel and impact the nations of the world with God’s love and leadership training.

The demonstration aims to challenge the hypocrisy of the Untied Nations and call upon the U.N. Human Rights Council to actually address racial discrimination, anti-Semitism, and human rights abuses around the world.

Charisma News caught up with Stearns to discuss his reasons viewpoints on Palestine, Israel, and how Christians should be responding to the current world events around Jerusalem.

Charisma News: Why are you protesting?

Stearns: It’s very clear that the state of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide are under extraordinary attack. I believe people of goodwill everywhere who hold to the basic values of Western civilization—but specifically Bible-believing Christians who trace our spiritual heritage to the Jewish people—must speak out loudly and clearly against the rising tide of anti-Semitism that is masking itself as anti-Zionism.

Charisma News: This is a cause you’ve been involved in for some time. Do you see an uptick in the momentum for this cause among the Body of Christ? Or is it still an issue part of the Body is passionate about while others are not paying attention?

Stearns: I see portions of the Body of Christ really understanding and committing themselves to this issue. I see a large portion of the Body sadly still in apathy and complacency. Most concerning, I see a portion of the body of Christ that seems grossly misinformed and misled regarding the true narrative of Israel’s situation in the Middle East.

Charisma News: Where is this misinformation coming from, the secular media?

Stearns: I believe the combination of propaganda in the secular media, a lack of a clear Biblical worldview, and the current focus on social justice issues is causing the body of Christ to all too often not understand who the true underdog is and who is truly acting with the greater good in the situation of Israel in the Middle East.

I hasten to add that I am very much for the Palestinian people. I visit and support Palestinian Christians on a constant basis. But I believe the Palestinian people are being used as pawns by a radical agenda and that true peace and prosperity for the Palestinians will come alongside a strong, secure Jewish state of Israel.

Charisma News: So what do you hope to accomplish with this demonstration, and what do you expect to accomplish? That may be two different things.

Stearns: The first success is that we’re even having this protest because it’s very non-typical for the Bible-believing evangelical community to engage in civil protest. However, I believe the times demand that we begin to more deeply consider civil protests and potential civil disobedience as we see these dangerous signals continuing to rise.

The second victory is that no matter how many or how few show up, we know that God is just looking for a Gideon 300. And so the fact that we’ll be there, we’ll be praying and we’ll be declaring is valuable. In the tradition of the great Martin Luther King, my hope is that Bible-believing Christians will begin to understand we must take our faith outside of the pew and into the public arena.

Charisma News: Right. I think that’s an important message to send in this hour. Is there anything else on your heart about Christians supporting Israel?

Stearns: Yes. I implore Bible-believing Christians to begin to educate themselves on the realities facing Israel and the Jewish people because this issue is not going away and indeed will require an educated, prayerful response from every genuine Christian in the years ahead.

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