Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus
home iconNews
line break icon

American Evangelicals meet with Saudi crown prince

John Burger - published on 09/11/19 - updated on 09/12/19

Religious freedom was one issue discussed when US religious figures met Mohammed bin Salman.

Greater religious freedom was one of the issues discussed when a small group of American Evangelical Christians went calling on the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed bin Salman, together with the Kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, received a delegation of the Christian-Evangelical Leaders in Jeddah on Tuesday. The delegation was led by the Israeli-American media writer and strategist Joel Rosenberg, who has written about terrorism in the light of biblical prophecies. Rosenberg and his wife, Lynn, founded the Joshua Fund, an organization encouraging Christians “to bless Israel and its neighbors in the name of Jesus.”

Rosenberg wrote on Twitter that “terrorism, peace, religious freedom and human rights” were discussed during the meeting with the Crown Prince.

This was a return visit for Rosenberg, who had visited other Saudi leaders in early November.

In reporting on the meeting, Religion News Service noted that Saudi Arabia is trying to forge closer ties with Evangelicals, “an influential electoral base in the U.S. that could be crucial to the 2020 elections.”

The prince continues to face fierce bipartisan criticism in the U.S. over the murder of Saudi critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey last year, despite denials by the kingdom that he had any involvement. … For the crown prince and other Arab leaders, meetings such as this offer an opportunity to strengthen ties with the Trump administration through his evangelical base of supporters. For the evangelical visitors, it is an opportunity for interreligious dialogue and to push for greater Arab support for the state of Israel. Many U.S. evangelicals support Israel as a core part of their faith. Most believe that before Jesus can return and rule, Jews must return to the Holy Land and rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, also the site of Islam’s sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The nine-person delegation also included the Rev. Johnnie Moore, a co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Council; A. Larry Ross, a former longtime spokesman for Billy Graham, and Pastor Skip Heitzig, whose Calvary Albuquerque church in New Mexico has over 15,000 congregants, RNS reported.

A statement issued by the Saudi Embassy in Washington said the two sides discussed promoting coexistence and combating extremism.

The delegation said in a statement that its members were grateful to have deepening relationships in Saudi Arabia “to talk openly, if sometimes privately, about what we believe must change in the kingdom even as we celebrate the kingdom’s progress in so many other areas.”

Christians in the Middle East
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.