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U.S. Religious Leaders Encourage Talks Between Hitler & Roosevelt -- Give Assurances Hitler Will Not Seek to Extend German Borders

"The ecumenical delegation's acceptance of President Ahmadinejad's soothing assurances about peace and good will was absurd." -- Mark Tooley, IRD Director of UMAction


Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, jwalton@ird-renew.org; both with the Institute on Religion and Democracy

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- A coalition of liberal religious leaders just returned on Sunday from a week long "bridge-building" trip to Iran. They met with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the hopes of averting U.S. military action against Iran's nuclear weapons program. The Iranian president, who has denied the Holocaust and threatened to incinerate Israel, assured the trusting church officials that he is against nuclear weapons. Organizers of the trip were the Mennonite Central Committee and American Friends Service Committee. Ahmadinejad invited the religious officials to Iran after having met with many of them in New York last September. The delegation included representatives of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, and the National Council of Churches, among others.

IRD UMAction Director Mark Tooley commented:

"The ecumenical delegation's acceptance of President Ahmadinejad's soothing assurances about peace and good will was absurd. The Iranian dictator, who presides over a vicious Shiite theocracy, has publicly prophesied for an apocalypse that concludes with the destruction of non-believers. Presumably he did not discuss his genocidal plans with the church officials, and presumably they did not bother to ask.

"Supposedly Ahmadinejad told the 13-member delegation his government 'Iran has no intention to acquire or use nuclear weapons' yet his foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki has reiterated that his country would never suspend uranium enrichment. (AP)

"The ecumenical statement released included, 'We believe it is possible for further dialogue and that there can be a new day in U.S. – Iranian relations.' Perhaps the ecumenical delegation should have sung Kumbaya with the Iranian president. For over 30 years, officials from these church groups have never failed to meet an anti-American dictator they could not trust and even admire. If they made any impression on Ahmadinejad at all, these church officials must have only confirmed his stereotypes about naïve and gullible Americans."


The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.