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IRD's Chelsen Vicari to Join Christian Solidarity Trip to Israel

"Undermining Christian support of Israel is the latest trend among young Evangelicals." -- Chelsen Vicari, Evangelical Action Director

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Institute on Religion and Democracy Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari will travel to Israel August 17-22 as a part of the "Christians in Solidarity with Israel" trip, hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).

Vicari will be joined by NRB President Jerry A. Johnson and NRB Board Chairman William A. Blount along with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Southern Evangelical Seminary President Richard Land, AnGeL Ministries President Anne Graham Lotz and others.

Chelsen Vicari, Director of IRD's Evangelical Action program, commented:

    "Undermining Christian support of Israel is the latest trend among young Evangelicals. Suddenly, it is unpopular to be a Christian Zionist and deemed uncompassionate and uncritical to support Israel. Instead they are opting for a rising 'Pro-Palestine, Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace' narrative that sounds nice, but offers no real solutions for peace and stability in the region.

    "Through this trip, I hope to not only stand in solidarity with Israel as a Millennial Evangelical but also sharing the voice of Israel's Millennials through interviews that highlight our commonalities, not just differences. Asking the questions, 'What do they think of American Millennials?' 'Do we share values of wanting to raise a family?' 'What are the challenges living amongst conflict, yet wading through life choices such as finding the right career or meeting the right spouse?' My effort is to shed light on how young Evangelicals can reject the currently distorted trends and support Israel well.

    "Too many Evangelicals have grown up in churches where they were told to support Israel, but never taught Scriptural reasons why. This has made a generation of Evangelicals susceptible to a skewed, sometimes anti-Semitic, view of Israel.

    "Young Evangelicals lack an understanding of the geo-political reasons to support Israel, the only enduring democracy in the Middle East. There is a frightening lack of knowledge that behind many popular 'Pro-Palestine' messages are terrorist organizations like Hamas whose own agenda is conquest and destruction, even when that means using children as human shields and school houses and neighborhoods as launching sites for their missiles."

Chelsen Vicari is the author of the forthcoming book Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith (Frontline, September 2014)

www.TheIRD.org