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Purpose Driven Terror? Rick Warren's Syrian Trip an Outrage

Contact: Ingrid Schlueter, Crosstalk Radio Talk Show, VCY America Radio Network, 414-881-5852

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, Nov. 14 /Christian Newswire/ --The Syrian News Agency today is featuring glowing reports of American evangelical celebrity pastor Rick Warren's junket to Syria. After reporting yesterday on Rick Warren's meeting on Syrian-American relations with President Bashar al-Assad, the news agency SANA reports the following about Mr. Warren's meeting with a Syrian Mufti today.

"The Mufti called for conveying the real image of Syria, national unity and its call to spread peace, amity and justice to the American people which the US administration has distorted their image before the world.

Pastor Warren expressed admiration of Syria and the coexistence he saw between Muslims and Christians, stressing that he will convey this image to his church and country."

Rick Warren also is quoted as saying that 80 percent of the American people oppose what the Administration is doing in Iraq. We at VCY America Radio Network are appalled and angered that Rick Warren is praising a nation that has long supported international terrorism and that desires the utter destruction of Israel. The U.S. State Department reports that Syria--along with Iran--gives the Lebanese militia Hezbollah "substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid." The State Department also has documented that Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah pass through Syria on an ongoing basis. Syria has also let Hezbollah operate in Lebanon and attack Israel, the results of which were seen in the July, 2006 violence between Hezbollah and Israel in which many lost their lives. Experts further believe that Syria is the source of the weapons and insurgents that are taking the lives of Iraqi and American soldiers on a nearly daily basis in Iraq.

The International Counter Terrorism organization as well as the U.S. State Department has extensive information regarding Syria's history of using terrorism to accomplish political ends. It is an affront to Israelis and Americans both that Rick Warren, whose expertise is in the building of evangelical megachurches, now fancies himself a foreign policy expert and official international man of peace. The pastor has no business involving himself in any role that appears to be representative of the United States and his promise to Syria to present a brighter view of that nation to America and Saddleback members demonstrates his willingness to serve as a mindless shill for a nation that embraces terror as a legitimate way of solving problems.

Rick Warren owes an apology to Israel, to the American people and to the victims of Syrian sponsored terror whose blood continues to soak the earth's soil.