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Standing for Freedom Center holds Hope for Israel event in Indy

Liberty University’s Standing for Freedom Center hosted “Hope for Israel” on Monday in Indianapolis, to rally support for the country as it defends itself against evil.

President Dondi Costin (left) and Chancellor Jonathan Falwell (right) moderated the “Hope for Israel” panel discussion on Monday.

The event, with roughly 200 in attendance (many who were in town for the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting), educated pastors, Christian leaders, and Liberty alumni on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, addressed the anti-Israel protests that have occurred on college campuses across America, and encouraged listeners to stand in harmony with the nation of Israel in the wake of the Hamas attacks on Israeli villages on Oct. 7, the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.

Liberty President Dondi Costin and Chancellor Jonathan Falwell moderated a panel that featured the former United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (2018-2021) Sam Brownback and the founder and editor-in-chief of All Israel News Joel Rosenberg.

“This is an all-out attack. I don’t believe that Israel has ever been more vulnerable or in a tougher spot since the renewed state of Israel was started in 1948,” Brownback said. “This is the most difficult time, and they are the most isolated they’ve ever been. … (Except) for the Evangelical Christians in the United States of America, Israel doesn’t have many friends. There aren’t many people who will stand with them.”

Since the deadly attacks on Oct. 7, Hamas and other pro-Palestinian groups have killed thousands of innocent Israeli citizens in bombings, shootings, and rocket strikes. The carnage is nothing new to Israel, which has suffered and tolerated Islamic extremism for decades.

As the governing authority over the Gaza strip, Hamas has used its own Palestinian citizens as human shields to both thwart Israeli defense strikes and to gain media sympathy if an Israeli attack proved effective.

“This is the darkest season in modern Israeli history,” Rosenberg said.

Following the discussion, Falwell and Costin presented both panel guests with the 2024 Christian Leadership Award.

In response to the Oct. 7 attacks, Liberty University organized a prayer vigil to stand in solidarity with Israel and pray for peace, justice, and salvation for the Jewish people. The university has maintained a strong connection with the Jewish community over the years and recognizes its members as God’s chosen people.

“I was grateful that President Costin and Chancellor Falwell had the opportunity to host our alumni and friends for one of the most important conversations at the Southern Baptist Convention on the current crisis facing Israel and the rising challenge of antisemitism on college campuses,” said Ryan Helfenbein, the Executive Director for Liberty’s Freedom Center. “Liberty platformed and recognized Joel Rosenberg and Ambassador Brownback as two of the most strategic leaders to champion freedom and religious liberty for Americans and Israelis.”

Following Monday’s panel, Falwell and Costin honored both Brownback and Rosenberg with the 2024 Christian Leadership Award for their leadership and uncommon courage in advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ while defending the cause of Israel and the Jewish people around the world.

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