Middle East Crisis conference to examine political and religious issues
On March 23 and 24, Biola University will welcome Chosen People Ministries and the Israel, the Church and the Middle East Crisis conference to address the complexities and nuances of the Middle East.
“We’re not going to shy away from controversial issues. We’re going to look at them. We have different sides to them,” said Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries and a Talbot School of Theology graduate.
Sessions appeal to varied interests
The conference will commence Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. with a session led by Joel Rosenberg titled “The Gathering Storm: Inside the Showdown Between the U.S., Israel and a Nuclear Iran.” Michael Zinn, a Russian Jewish believer, will also share his testimony. The conference will continue on Saturday morning with sessions led by Walter Kaiser, Mitch Glaser and Rosenberg. Hormoz Shariat, an Iranian Muslim convert, will also share his testimony.
Afternoon workshops will provide attendees with opportunities to explore areas of personal interest. Some workshop topics include Jewish evangelism, Muslim evangelism, mission opportunities in Israel and the future of Israel. These workshops will take place across Biola’s campus.
The conference will conclude on Saturday evening with what Chosen People Ministries describes as a celebratory session and will include a concert with Messianic Jewish artist Marty Goetz and a final session with Rosenberg.
Valuable to Biola community
Shoh Ueno, a junior anthropology major and the student director of Biola’s Muslim Ministry, is looking forward to attending the conference and gaining a better understanding of the spiritual and political dynamic of the Middle East.
“If we desire to know the Bible and see how it matters to the world, we inevitably have to turn our eyes toward the history and current events of the Middle East,” he said.
Glaser believes this conference holds particular value for the Biola community.
“Biola has traditionally had a great heart for Jewish evangelism. … I don’t want Biola students to ever lose sight of the indescribable heritage they have as a school that is bringing the gospel to the Jewish people,” he said.
Glaser’s own personal commitment to Jewish evangelism is reflected in the ministry he leads. “Chosen People Ministries exists to pray for, evangelize, disciple and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same,” according to the website. The New York-based organization works in 13 nations, including the United States and Israel. Their desire for this conference is to equip attendees with a biblical understanding of the events taking place in the Middle East and tools to reach out to local Jewish and Muslim populations.
Registration for the conference is free to students and can be completed online on the Chosen People Ministries website. Chapel credit will be available.