SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement:
“Yesterday, I issued a statement in wholehearted support of the U.S. moving its embassy from Tel-Aviv to West Jerusalem, which was appropriate given how long the Jewish community alongside millions of Christians have longed for and prayed for that day to come. Today, I want to make it abundantly clear that I am also, and equally, grieved by the Palestinian lives lost in Gaza. We in the Christian community must lead the charge in advocating for peace whenever it is humanly possible. We must also do the hard work of gaining understanding of the Palestinian perspective, fully appreciating the historical, socioeconomic, and cultural causes behind the region’s modern conflicts. It is precisely because of this that I met with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah in February, in efforts to build bridges between the Palestinian, Israeli and American peoples. While it is undeniable that Hamas has provoked a significant amount of the violence that has erupted on the Israeli Gaza border – a fact that must be roundly condemned by the international community – we must also remember that if peace is our ultimate and shared goal, each life lost is not only tragic, but it also injects more poison into the veins of a people that must be equal partners in any future peace. It also plays into the hands of those who want to divide Israel from her neighbors. I pray for those families who have lost loved ones in Gaza, and I add my voice to all those urging restraint and an end to the violence. The Palestinian people deserve, as much as the Israelis, a peaceful and hopeful future for their children.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, executive producer of The Impossible with 20th Century Fox, and bestselling author of “Shake Free.” He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.