Lutheran Asks U.S. to Withhold Aid to Israel
Religions News Service, August 11, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS -- The nation's largest Lutheran church called on the
U.S. government this week to withhold all economic and military aid to
Israel until it improves conditions for Palestinians.

Meeting here for its biennial Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America passed a strongly worded resolution that
called for prayer in the ongoing violence in the Holy Land. Lutherans
said they were following the words of Jesus to comfort "the poor, the
powerless and the outcast."

The resolution signals a growing frustration--increasingly aimed at
Israel--among the mainline Protestant churches with the ongoing violence.

One of the candidates for the upcoming presiding bishop election, Bishop
Donald J. McCoid of Pittsburgh, was part of a Christian delegation that met
with Secretary of State Colin Powell earlier this year and delivered a strongly
worded rebuke of Israeli policies, angering the American Jewish Committee,
which called it "terribly unbalanced" and "rather un-Christian."