Samuel Rodriguez

Samuel Rodriguez is the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization with 42,000 plus U.S. churches and many additional churches spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.  

[Press Release] Evangelical Leaders Consolidate Their Support Around Friedman for Israel Ambassador

Jan. 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA — More than 70 Evangelical leaders gathered in Washington D.C. to meet with David Friedman, President Trump’s pick for Ambassador to Israel. The meeting, which lasted over an hour, was convened by Mario Bramnick, President of Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition and Vice President of NHCLC, along with Joseph Sabag, U.S. National Director for Israel Allies Foundation. Collectively, the coalition represents millions of Christians around the world through major denominations and networks.

“After meeting with Mr. Friedman in person, it is clear to us that he is a man of character, principle and faith,” says Mr. Bramnick. “We believe he will apply his formidable expertise and will faithfully champion our country’s interests. Now more than perhaps at any other time in modern history, it is vitally important, to both Christians and to our nation as a whole, that America stand firmly behind Israel, the only pluralistic and democratic nation in the region – a nation that shares our values. We are grateful to Mr. Friedman for graciously spending his time meeting with our coalition, and we are pleased to say that we enthusiastically support his nomination.”

The letter also expresses the group’s willingness to support moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, should the administration choose to do so.

“While Mr. Friedman is someone we have known and trusted, our meeting today only strengthened our support,” adds Joseph Sabag. “What we can say definitively is Mr. Friedman and President Trump represent a vast upgrade in our nation’s support for Israel, and that’s something all Americans should applaud, especially Evangelical Christians.”

Following the meeting, those present issued a joint-letter to President Trump applauding Mr. Friedman’s nomination. A copy of the letter is below:

Evangelical Leaders Applaud the Nomination of David Friedman


Dear President Trump:

We write today as Evangelical leaders and lovers of Israel, offering the blessings and support of the many millions of Americans whom we collectively represent. We wish to applaud your nomination of David Friedman to be the United States Ambassador to the State of Israel, and call upon all members of the United States Senate to vote in favor of his confirmation. Furthermore, we wish to express our support should your administration decide to move our U.S. Embassy to the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish Nation, the holy city of Jerusalem.

Our support for Israel is first and foremost rooted in the Bible, in which it is clearly established that God gave the Land of Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital, to the Jewish people as an eternal covenant. Indeed, the claim and presence of Jewish people in Israel and Jerusalem has remained constant for more than 3000 years.

Additionally, it is in America’s best interest to have a democratic and pluralistic ally like Israel in the Middle East, a nation that shares our values.

Of concern to Christians in particular, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the freedom of religion is assured and protected. Given the attempted genocide of Christians and the escalating persecution of the Church taking place throughout the surrounding region, our community has never seen a more critical time for standing in unwavering support of Israel.  Additionally, the abundance of Christian heritage sites in Israel and its territories makes it an especially sacred place for our community, where the freedom of access and free exercise of our religion can only be guaranteed under Israeli sovereignty.

Our meeting with Mr. Friedman has made it clear that you have wisely selected a fellow man of faith, character and principle to represent our country’s interests in Israel. We are certain that in his position he will act effectively to champion the vital concerns and hopes of the Christian community. More broadly, we are confident that Mr. Friedman’s great talents and expertise will play a key part in carrying out the vast upgrade in support for Israel that your administration has committed to.

Despite the challenges and obstacles that may confront our support for Israel, we know that America remains blessed as “the land of the free and the home of the brave” in large part due to this support. Therefore, at this important time, we wish to affirm our community’s commitment to stand with our elected government, Ambassador Friedman, and you, our new President, as you lead our own great nation in pursuit of the many blessings to be drawn from our stance with Israel, the Light unto the Nations.



NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.

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