Delegation of U.S. Evangelicals Meets with Leaders of Egypt, Jordan

NRB members in EgyptA delegation of American Evangelical leaders recently concluded a week-long trip to Egypt and Jordan that included meetings with government leaders, religious leaders, and a visit to a refugee camp near the Syrian border.

The delegation, convened and led by New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg, included NRB members Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council; Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor at Skyline Church in California; and Larry Ross, Founder of A. Larry Ross Communications in Texas; among others.

“We came away very impressed and encouraged that Egypt is moving in the right direction, and we thank God for that,” Rosenberg said during an interview on Washington Watch, guest-hosted by NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson.

As for Jordan, Rosenberg said its leader, King Abdullah II, “is America’s most faithful Sunni Arab ally and a man of peace.”

“By God’s grace, the King has created an oasis of stability amidst a sea of fire,” Rosenberg stated in a press release. “This is a model of moderation the American people need to know more about.”

The delegation kicked off its four-day visit with a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who called for unity and solidarity in confronting and eliminating terrorism in the region.

The meeting, which was scheduled to last one hour, ended up lasting nearly three hours.

“President el-Sisi’s courage impressed us, but also his humility, his openness to meet with evangelical Christians and to say he’s working for an Egypt that’s safe and free for anyone – Muslim, Christian, Jew, Atheist, anybody. They’ve got a long way to go, but they’re making tremendous progress,” Rosenberg reported.

Perkins, who usually hosts Washington Watch, also joined as a guest on the program.

“Under President el-Sisi, the state is actually rebuilding some of these Christian churches that were destroyed. They’re providing security where needed when there are threats to Christian churches as well. They are having conversations with evangelical leaders,” Perkins reported.

After the meeting with the President, the delegation was welcomed by former Egyptian First Lady Jehan Sadat, widow of former Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, for tea in her home of 47 years, which she called the “House of Peace.” They later met with two top Islamic leaders — the Egyptian Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments Muhammad Jumu’ah and the Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam — followed by lunch and an afternoon roundtable discussion with 60 Evangelical and Protestant pastors and ministry leaders to discuss their vision for the future of the Church in Egypt.

In Jordan, the Evangelical leaders met with King Abdullah II; His Royal Highness Prince Hassan, brother of the late King Hussein and grandson of the late King Abdullah I, the nation’s first monarch; senior military officials at Jordan’s Central Command headquarters; Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi; and the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, His Excellency Imad Fakhoury.

The delegation also the visited the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) and were able to experience the “Jordan ethic” firsthand during a visit to the Zaatari Refugee Camp near the city of Mafraq that provides housing for 80,000 Syrian individuals and families. Since 2011, Jordan has taken in some two million refugees, making up 25 percent of the national population and accounting for one-fourth of the national budget. Despite no oil wealth and limited resources, Jordan is providing these refugees humanitarian support, jobs, and education for youth in order to reduce their vulnerability to recruitment into extremist ideology.

“I believe God is blessing Jordan because they have been so generous to the poor and the suffering,” said Perkins in a press release.

When asked how Christians in America should pray for the Middle East in light of the delegation’s visit, Rosenberg encouraged prayers for leaders like U.S. President Trump and Vice President Pence who have been focusing on the issue of defending all people in the Middle East – that they would continue to do so; and to pray for King Abdullah and President el-Sisi, who Rosenberg identified as moderate Muslims willing to stand up against the radicals.

“They want to protect Christians. And they have a track record. It’s not just talk. They’re doing it. So we want to stand with such men as Americans and as Christians, and of course with the Church itself,” Rosenberg said.

PHOTOS ABOVE: [1] The delegation of American Evangelical leaders with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. [2] The delegation with Jordan's leader, King Abdullah II. Photographs courtesy of A. Larry Ross Communications.

By NRB Staff

Published: November 9, 2017

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