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Good afternoon. I'm Rachel Bronson. I'm the vice president for Programs and Studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. And to allay any confusion, I had been at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York for a number of years, and so it's really terrific to be home again. And I thank Harry and Tim and Walter for making that possible. I'm just delighted to be moderating the session that we have this afternoon, which, after two what I thought were powerful and interesting conversations, we have a lot to live up to. But I think any conversation on the Middle East, particularly American foreign policy in the Middle East, and especially the role of evangelicalism in American foreign policy and the Middle East, can be nothing but interesting. And so we have a big task in front of us, but hopefully made a little bit easier by how challenging and interesting the subject itself is. On the panel today are three fantastic people to speak with us about it. And I hope that, in my role, I'm able to draw them out so that they can really showcase how interesting and important the subject is. Tim Weber, to my left, is a senior consultant at EFL Associates. In his role in higher education in Denver, he's been president of four institutions -- four institutions of graduate theological issues. To his left, Eliza Griswold is a fellow at the National America Foundation. And to her left is Paul Marshall, who is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Just to give a little background also before we get into the conversation, Tim's done some very important and path-breaking work on the role of evangelicalism and Israel. Eliza is finishing a book on the 10/40 parallel that we've been hearing so much about and will allow us also to get into a little bit of conversation on missionaries today. And then Paul, of course, has been working on issues of religious freedom. That's been actually referred to in the conversation. So here we have three experts on very important topics and issues when it comes to the Middle East. So what we've agreed to kind of as a panel is just to take some very basic questions and have each of the panelists take it on and give their take of the questions. So let me just start with Paul, and maybe just start very broadly, Paul, on how do evangelicals view the Muslim world and the Middle East? I mean, as we think about this very big topic, can you kind of give us a sense of what that landscape looks like? Okay. As we heard this morning, any statement which begins "Evangelicals think" is -- I'd better rephrase that. Is there an evangelical view of something? No. With Israel, as I think Tim will point out in much more detail and nuance, I think most evangelical opinion is supportive of Israel. Of that, about one-third is probably for prophetic reasons, premillennial dispensationalists; I would say another third for biblical reasons -- (inaudible) -- view of the Jews. So there's a biblical tie-in there, but it's not dispensational or prophetic. And the third would see Israel as a democratic country which has our values and we should support them. So there is generally a pro-Israel tilt. That's also supplemented by the fact of a more negative or critical view of Middle Eastern countries generally, and a lot of that is tied to the treatment of the Christian minorities, which the evangelical world has become more aware of. You know, most notably would, of course, be Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also with Egypt, with Turkey, with Syria, people becoming aware of what's happening in there. So in short form, a pro-Israel tilt, for a variety of reasons, but also concern about a lot of the Middle East. If we include Sudan in the Middle East -- it depends where we want to draw that boundary -- then particularly the north-south conflict in Sudan, that peace agreement is fraying, but still holding. I would say, in terms of focus on any country, the focus on Sudan has been the largest amongst the evangelical community in the last 10 years, and a lot of that has carried over into Darfur. So that's also a large issue for evangelicals. Tim, why don't you pick up on that about -- I mean, I think the point has been made repeatedly that evangelicals don't think something. But yet Paul has kind of laid out some area where there is some commonality in general, a pro-Israel stance in general, concern with human rights; not that out of touch with the American public, actually, in many ways, which I think is interesting. So how should -- when you look over the landscape of evangelicalism in foreign policy and thinking about the Middle East -- and we'll get specifically to Israel, but even your work, obviously, will inform that -- what is the role for evangelicals in thinking about American Middle East policy? Who are they and where are they? Well, as Paul has pointed out, most evangelicals are very pro- Israel. All the polls say so. But not all evangelicals are pro-Israel for the same reason. A quarter, a third at the most, probably, are very concerned about Israel and the Middle East for prophetic reasons. They follow a particular view of Bible prophecy which originated in the 1830s in Britain called dispensationalism, came to this country in the 1870s after our Civil War, and, by World War I, was firmly established among people who were beginning to call themselves fundamentalists. It is a view of the future which is extremely detailed. The conviction is that the Bible contains a scenario of great import and great detail that spells out what's going to happen in what order, when and where. Bottom line for dispensationalism is that there can be no second coming of Christ without the rise of anti-Christ. There can be no rise of anti-Christ without the restoration of the Jews in the Holy Land. And this was a view that was taught in Britain and the United States from the 1830s on. What I see as most significant about the evangelical approach to the Middle East is that it took an enormous turn, of course, in 1948 with the founding of the state of Israel, and then again it took great urgency again by 1970 after the Six-Day War, when Israel gained a lot of territory and began to put together a map that looked very much like the maps that used to hang on evangelicals' Sunday School walls. Evangelicals love Israel because they're in the Bible a lot -- (laughter) -- from the beginning to the end. Jesus was the son of God and the son of Israel, and all the children of Israel were the apples of God's eye. For that reason alone, if a Bible prophecy was never uttered, those facts are enough to keep evangelicals in the game with Israel. But you had this other thing, this premillennial dispensationalism, which really has given a public voice to a minority position within the evangelical community. And we can say some more about that later. Eliza, why don't you talk a little bit? The panel's been couched as evangelicalism with American foreign policy and the Middle East. But a lot of your work is showing the importance of Muslim communities and where Christians meet Muslims outside and around and throughout the Middle East. I mean, maybe you can talk a little bit about how really we should be thinking about our foreign policy in the Middle East and then beyond. Well, I think what's important to remember, that 80 percent of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims live outside what we term the Middle East. So when we're looking at the encounter of evangelical Christianity and Islam, we're looking primarily in the developing world in Africa and Asia. Now, we've been hearing a lot about this 10/40 window, which I thought I might define -- just kind of backup and define for a minute so we'd understand some of the terms. And again, I think it's essential to remember that there's not one unified position or evangelical view of what this window is. But the 10/40 window is also called the window of opportunity. It's a geographic space that begins on the line of latitude 10 degrees north of the equator and it continues up until the line 40 degrees north of the equator. It's a rectangle. Inside live about two-thirds of the world's population. Eighty-five percent of the poorest of the poor, which means people who live on less than $500 a year. And I think it's between -- it's a soft figure -- but definitely over 90 percent have not been reached with the gospel -- have not heard someone preach to them directly about salvation through Jesus Christ. So that is what this 10/40 window. It was named in 1990 by an evangelist named Luis Bush -- Anyway, so -- and it became and still is -- I don't want to overstate its importance as some sort of pre-millennial drive, but it is certainly a focus among evangelical Christians and missionaries for the last great push of salvation -- reaching the unreached within this window. Now, what I have been looking at specifically is that line of latitude 10 degrees north of the equator, which is about 700 miles north of the equator. That splits, Nigeria, Sudan, the Horn of Africa; it runs through Somalia and Ethiopia; it's just above Indonesia and Asia and it splits the Philippines north-south. In Sudan, in particular ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â which is a point of interest I'm looking forward to hearing Paul talk about -- the Brits used this 10th parallel to divide the north and south in 1905. Now, right now looking at the evangelical presence in south Sudan, really the reason that we know about what's going on in south Sudan is the presence of evangelical relief workers who have absolutely consistently supported the people of south Sudan, and not just because they're perceived as Christians. And they are the first to say, this is beyond a religious understanding. Yet, there is a very -- there's a point in the current peace agreement that was forged in 2005 between north and south that involved a very specific oil rich area between north and south and it is directly on this 10th parallel. And it is looking like -- the place is called Abyei -- and it's looking like peace may break down again. So there's -- I was just speaking yesterday to a wonderful evangelical relief worker who was saying, watch Abyei, watch Abyei. And he is not in the State Department. And you know, he knows who's going where and why, because he's deeply committed to that work. Let me pick up on that and kind of continue to broaden the conversation. But Eliza, let's start with you and kind of the sort missionary work and where Christians and Muslims meet about sort of the key concerns and issues for evangelicals in the Middle East. And so we talked a little bit before about persecution and things like this. So I'd like to start with you on that one about talking about this particular issue of such key concern. Well, I think one place to begin in the Middle East -- I was in Iraq when the war began and I was with a group of missionaries who used what they call "creative access" -- meaning that they were in Iraq teaching English and not openly working as missionaries. This group had been there -- and that's all I'm going to say about them in terms of defining information -- they had been teaching English through the first Gulf War and providing aid work there. And although there is no question their primary and singular drive in their head was to bring people to salvation through Christ, their success rate was extremely low by their own admission. And what served the daily good in a very important way was the teaching of English, the medical care. So why that may not be the primary drive, very frankly -- by many of the missionaries who work within this area -- that is their primary affect. When it comes to persecution, looking at persecution in terms of basically -- I think the nexus of evangelical Christianity -- and Paul will address this in detail, I'm sure -- the nexus of evangelical issues and human rights is really this issue of persecution. It is extremely real. We may couch it as something else. You know, I mean, southern Sudan is a perfect example. I went several months ago to a conference in Franklin, Tennessee called Voice of the Martyrs, which serves the persecuted church. That is their mandate. They work mostly in PR, so it's a pretty flashy presentation of information. One pastor, an American, got up and talked about a southern Sudanese boy he had met -- and he showed pictures of this boy -- who had been sent to the north as a slave. Clearly, he was sold and working as a slave. And this boy had, in fact, been crucified and survived. But he was nailed to planks. Now, the pastor's understanding of that was that he was crucified in terms of Jesus -- that this was a direct corollary to his being Christian. But identity isn't fixed. It's shifting all the time and this young boy had about 10 identities. So there's a very important and in many ways providential to both the human rights community and the evangelical community that brings these two concerns together around issues of persecution. Paul, let me ask you to kind of pick up on this and talk about the importance of religious freedom and what it means for foreign policy, and for the U.S., and looking and thinking about the Middle East and our involvement in the Middle East. Just in terms of foreign policy, religious freedom, I don't think, is being properly taken up as an issue. One reason is still in Washington in foreign policy, religion is not taken seriously. I would say the difference is 10 years ago people would tell you, well, religion wasn't that important for foreign policy. Now, almost nobody will say that. They say, oh, yeah. We realize now it's important. But people produce their reports in exactly the same way. It doesn't -- it has not been integrated into an understanding. And so the problem of religious freedom is an issue. And Tom Farr has a -- long-time the first head of the Religious Freedom Office in the State Department -- has a book coming out next year on this. As a humanitarian thing -- there's someone in prison, we want to get them out of prison. So you deal -- you put out fires. And that's worthwhile -- more than that is done. But in areas where religion is plainly significant -- and that's most of the world -- I could put it this way: When religion and politics intertwine, if you don't have religious freedom, you cannot have political freedom. If there's no freedom for Muslims to argue about the meaning of Islam, in a state which defines itself as an Islamic state, then you can't argue about the political order. So it's not a marginal issue. It's central to the discussion of democratization and many other things. It's especially true in the Middle East. You know, the Iranians, the Saudis, the Egyptians will imprison religious and political reformers -- who are often the same -- on grounds of blasphemy. So that's a general background statement. In the Middle East as a whole, most of the non-Muslim -- there's lots of Muslim religious minorities -- most of the non-Muslim religious minorities are disappearing. And there are other groups -- there are Mandaeans, Sabians, Yazidis and so forth in Iraq -- but in most of this area, 90 percent of the minorities you're talking about are Christian, and historic. If I can interrupt myself -- just to pick up on language, we often refer to these as "Muslim countries." Quite a few of these countries are demographically no more Muslim than the United States is Christian, okay -- certainly Lebanon, obviously; Syria would be another example; Egypt is another one. They're no more -- they're as religiously diverse as the United States is. So when we start calling them Muslim countries, if you happen not to be a Muslim who lives in that country, that's also of concern. So these communities are leaving -- obviously the Palestinians, the Palestinian Christian population is now a tenth of what it was 30 or 40 years ago. But it's not simply a Palestinian thing. There's a similar movement out of Turkey, the old Christian communities -- the Syriacs in the southeast, they've, by and large, gone -- and it's much more than guest workers. You're seeing a movement out of Jordan. You're seeing a movement out of Syria. Also in Egypt, that's the largest group going, but I think their birth rate may be high enough so that they're self-sustaining. Then the obvious example is, of course, Iraq. You know, every Iraqi has suffered, but you find out that amongst the refugees, the minorities -- who are four percent of the population, are over 40 percent of the refugees. They don't have militias. They can't fight back. They can't defend. So they go. So you see this large scale movement out. Evangelicals, more than most Americans, are aware of that. They see reports of persecution; they often know much more about what's going on than other people. So this also colors the views of Islam, in general, because -- (inaudible) -- when you hear about Islam it's very often in these particular contexts. So let me leave that there. I can say more -- then I'll break. Yeah, we'll come back -- we'll come back because I want to get to Tim, but I'm reminded the economist quote, just recently -- and Adrian, you may have written it (laughs), but saying that "Faithful Unsettle Politics Everywhere This Century." And unless we understand that, Washington understands that, and figures out how to engage, we will be operating with one hand tied behind our back on the foreign policy stage. Tim, let me ask you to pick up where Paul left off, talking a little bit about the views of Muslim countries. But also clearly very important to this -- and you kind of hinted in your introduction, is the role of Israel, and pro-Israel take, and some splits that are happening recently, but if you can kind of round that out for us in terms of thinking about the role of our own domestic politics and foreign policy, and how this pro-Israel sentiment plays itself out. In my latest book on this subject I equated the changes within the pre- millennial community in these terms: I talked about how, for most of their history, dispensationalists have been sitting in the stands on history's 50-yard line, (laughter) looking at the field below, watching the teams enter the stadium, begin to take up positions and then predicting what was going to happen next. Their job was to explain the game before the game started -- and certainly before it ended. But after the founding of the State of Israel -- and especially after the Six-Day War, more and more of these pre-millennialists believed that it was time to get out of the stands and get down on the field where they could arrange the teams in ways that fit their scenario. So they became activists, not just observers and explainers. Much of this new approach came about at the urging of the Israelis in the late '70s, early '80s. Israel recognized that it was quickly losing the liberal Protestant support that it had had before the Six-Day War. And when they did not withdraw from occupied territory, mainline Protestantism began to be highly critical of the Jewish state. And they discovered instead, the fundamentalist, evangelical, pre-millennialists world that they didn't know much about before; and they began to court in major ways. And the pre- millennialists loved it, and they responded. Sometimes even prime ministers of Israel would help evangelical prophesy-types arrange tours of Israel to bring their constituencies there. And from that time to this, Tel Aviv Airport is just flooded with evangelical tour groups to walk where Jesus walked, and to get the Israeli spin on the Middle East crisis. And this has been a very important part of this marriage that has taken place. So what we have, since the early '80s, is a -- is a tendency among some of these prophesy believers to organize in very overtly political ways, to influence American foreign policy. And they've done so by creating essentially political action groups with names like "Christian Friends of Israel," "Bridges for Peace," "International Fellowship of Christians and Jews" -- which is run by a rabbi but which is supported overwhelmingly by evangelicals, or the "International Embassy -- International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem," we could go and on. Most recently, the one that has received a lot of recent public attention is "Christians United for Israel," which is headed by John Hagee, who has a big church in San Antonio. They have -- this last summer they had a huge rally in Washington -- 4,500 people came. They trained them to disperse on Capitol Hill and lobby their various members of Congress and Senators on Israel with talking points. I'm on the mailing list and I got my "E-mail Alert" this last week to e-mail the White House about the Annapolis Conference; to urge the White House to "Cut it out," and not to pressure Israel anymore to give up land for peace. There's just all this kind of very sophisticated political involvement among that kind of group. Now other evangelicals don't see it this way -- never have, never will. They don't read the bible, prophetically, in the same way but they still are very pro-Israel. In August a group of 34, I think -- evangelical leaders, presidents of seminaries, denominational leaders, apparent church leaders of various kinds, wrote a letter to the president urging him to recognize two things: Number one, not all evangelicals are in the prophetic camp; and secondly, not all -- a very large number of evangelicals are for a Two-state solution in the Middle East. And they sent that off. John Hagee responded and said, "Evangelicals will laugh to scorn, this letter. Well, what happened in Annapolis -- all those e-mails, all that lobbying did not stop Annapolis from happening, but that letter was right, it was calling on the president to do what he did in Annapolis. So that raises all kinds of interesting questions about who's got the political connections and the political power in the evangelical community, under this president, to influence American foreign policy. Eliza, picking up on some of this, we were talking a little bit before about Israel and Palestine, in light of your work. I wonder if you had some thoughts in terms of dispensational views, or maybe even talking about a little bit social justice and where that plays into all this conversation about where the evangelical community is going. Sure. Well, definitely the prophetic tradition is alive and well outside of Israel and Palestine. I mean, a couple of months ago I was in the "middle belt" of Nigeria which -- and, again, generalizations are dangerous here, but the mostly-Muslim north of Nigeria meets a predominantly-Christian south in an area called Middle Belt, which unsurprisingly, is 10 degrees north of the equator. And again, it's the southern edge of arid land. So basically, that's as far as Islam got during the 19th century before tsetse flies caused camels and horses to die of sleeping sickness. So that's where Islam stopped. And now, I think really important to our discussion today, is to remember that this explosive growth of effervescent Christianity in Africa and Latin American and Asia -- but especially along that sub Saharan region -- is one of the things driving our foreign policy, because we're seeing a new form of belief and really listening to people who have a form faith that does not necessarily come from us. But anyway, back to social justice issues. Well, in the middle belt, for example, there's a specific field that lies between a small Islamic emirate and a Christian village. Maybe -- certainly over 1,000 people have died in the past several years fighting over this one field. Now, religion is one of a thousand factors in that life. You have land. You have desertification, the influence of climate change and grazing patterns -- all of these play into issues of social justice throughout the developing world. And then religion comes to color conflicts in an extremely convenient way for those who want to propagate conflict. Am I answering your question enough? You are. I mean, what I was fishing for a little bit. And Paul, you can wrap us up too before we go to the Q&A. But you know, in sort of my recent conversations, there's been this overwhelmingly pro-Israel sentiment. This notion, though, of social justice has been very important to evangelicals and that is leading some to begin to take a more pro-Palestinian view in terms of their views of social justice and what's just. So in that context -- and I probably should have set it up a little bit better -- I know that you've been running into sort of conflicts and questions around social justice -- elsewhere around the world. But I'd like to come back to it, because, Paul, I want you to kind of jump in on this too. Yeah. A couple of things here: You've always got to be careful with polling data. We see amongst evangelicals a strong pro-Israel sentiment. Amongst most, the major thing that boils down to is you want Israel to be protected. It survives. It exists. If that is established, then you could do other things. And I've seen some polling data which says -- actually, support for a Palestinian state is higher amongst evangelicals than it is amongst the general population. The opposition isn't to a Palestinian state. The basic thing is the preservation of Israel. If that is secured, then one, you know -- you want the Palestinians to be happy and prosperous and as wealthy as possible. And again, the concern about a lot of the Muslim world is, again, it's repressive. If they haven't got oil, it tends to be very poor. So that's there. But with Israel and the Palestinians it's submerged to the basic conflict. In other areas there's a lot of relief work going on. That's true in Iraq. Some of the major relief NGOs, even in Egypt, are indigenous Christian ones. So that goes on, but the religious freedom-religious persecution issue in a lot of the area, then the Israel and the Palestinian issue overshadows that. To add something else: We've been talking -- when we've been talking about evangelicals, we've been talking more of say movement evangelicals or sociological terms, public opinion. I'd just like to add, as you mentioned before, if you took that -- you know, if you raised -- what about evangelicals in Annapolis? I said, well, I saw this evangelical standing in the middle of the Israelis and the Palestinians. His name's George Bush. A chief organizer of that was another one named Condi Rice. I was surprised when we talked about Africa we didn't talk about Mike Guss (sp) and his role in that. Or going back further from Middle Eastern politics take another one -- James Baker. There are many evangelical figures who've been involved in foreign policy circles who are not identified as evangelicals -- that's not their public persona or whatever -- but nevertheless are. Amongst elite evangelicals is a very strong realist streak, I think you'll find. And let me throw out one other name which hasn't come up, who's very influential: Doug Coe of the Fellowship. Somebody mentioned before that evangelicals were -- I think it was Rich -- not very big on dialogue or at least structured dialogue, often very big on reconciliation. There's quite a few organizations, lots of Catholic ones as well, who work on that. A new group in Washington called the Fellowship -- that's very much one of their themes. And they're quite influential in terms of foreign policy -- not so much on the hard edge, but bringing people together. They've done this with Sudan. And I think in discussions about Israel and the Palestinians they've done a lot of informal diplomacy -- what's the expression -- the two-track or third track. There's a lot of that going on. Someone like Doug Coe, I think, would have been very influential in bringing these parties together. So there's this subterranean element going on too. Again, that's not mass opinion. But if you're dealing with office holders, there's a lot of influence which we haven't really touched on much.