Article from the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service, Fides
Amman (Agenzia Fides) - The initiative of Christians linked to evangelical groups that were filmed while distributing gospels and leaflets concerning spiritual reflection in the refugee camp in Zaatari, the main camp for the reception of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war present on Jordanian territory, continues to be at the center of a debate.
The movie, on the internet, continues to provoke controversy and causes the stand off on behalf of Catholic Church responsibles: "you cannot bring provision and take advantage of that situation to distribute the Gospels" says to Fides Agency Archbishop Maroun Lahham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. According to Msg. Lahham "in that way you are exploiting humanitarian initiatives to achieve forms of proselytism that have nothing to do with the dynamics of authentic Christian witness." The refugee camp in Zaatari started functioning exactly one year ago, July 29, 2012, with 2 thousand tents able to accommodate 10 thousand people. Now there are 120 thousand refugees, who represent the fourth most populous settlement inhabited in the entire Hashemite Kingdom. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 30/07/2013).
In a very sinister and dangerous development a group of American evangelicals have been active in Jordan utilising the conflict in Syria to proselytise Syrian Muslim refugees. The presence of these American evangelicals and their activities among the refugee community add to an already explosive situation creating the possibility that those who promote an extremist ideology in the region would utilise such activities as a means of incitement against Christians in general something that would have disastrous consequences for the indigenous Christians, within the west Jordan area of the Holy Land, the majority of whom are blameless in this matter.
The news report comes from CBN the Christian Broadcasting Network which is a Christian Zionist television network in the United States founded by televangelist Pat Robertson noted among other things for his Islamaphobic views. Even in the narrative of the news reporter, Wendy Griffith, these attitudes are at play as she describes Muslim women wearing normal Hijab as “Burka clad refugees.”
The CBN broadcast focuses on the work in Jordan of an American Christian evangelical NGO know as “e3 Partners Ministry.” This NGO operates out of Plano, Texas and its president and founder is Curtis Hail a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary a leading exponent of Christian Zionism in the U.S. The NGO's Vice president and Middle East Director, who features in this news report, is Thomas Doyle a fellow graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and author of the book “Two Nations under God - Why You Should Care about Israel”.
The 2006 Statement on Christian Zionism by the Latin (Roman Catholic) Patriarch of Jerusalem and Heads of Churches in the Holy Land has a direct relevance to the current activities of Zionist evangelical organisations such as e3 Partners Ministry and their conduct in Jordan.
"The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it places an emphasis
on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ's love and justice today.
We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation."
The full text can be read here