Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

A Disgraceful Evangelical Meeting with Mohammed bin Salman

Whatever their reasons were, these evangelicals shouldn't have met with the crown prince, and it is to their enduring discredit that they did.
Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.59.01 PM

The American evangelicals that participated in this farce should be ashamed:

A group of prominent U.S. evangelical figures, including several of President Trump’s evangelical advisers, met Thursday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose role in the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi remains unclear. In a statement that included smiling photos, the group said “it is our desire to lift up the name of Jesus whenever we are asked and wherever we go.”

In addition to its horrific policy in Yemen and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by agents of the government, Saudi Arabia has one of the worst records for religious freedom in the world. It is one of the most dangerous places to be Christian. Meeting with the architect of the Saudi government’s atrocious war in Yemen at a time when half of the people in that country are on the verge of starving to death reflects truly appalling judgment on the part of the Americans that attended. It’s a disgrace:

It is difficult not to see the meeting as a cynical exercise in using “pro-Israel” evangelicals to solidify ties between the kingdom, the U.S., and Israel:

The Jerusalem Post news site framed the group of evangelicals as unofficial ambassadors of an Israeli government that wants to ally with Saudi Arabia in confronting Iran.

“In a new sign of growing ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman hosted a delegation of evangelical Christians on Thursday in Riyadh led by a prominent pro-Israel advocate who also lives in the Jewish state,” the Jerusalem Post said, referencing Rosenberg.

Whatever their reasons were, these evangelicals shouldn’t have met with the crown prince, and it is to their enduring discredit that they did.