By: Tzvi Lev/TPS
Israeli Greek Orthodox Priest Gabriel Naddaf opened the Christians United For Israel (CUFI) Washington Summit on Monday by lauding Israel as the safest country for Christians in the Middle East.
“Today, there is just one country in the Middle East where Christians live in peace and security,” said Naddaf. “In Israel, they have freedom of speech and religion, they can exercise their faith freely, and they have democratic rights.”
Christians United For Israel, or CUFI, is an American pro-Israel Christian organization and the largest such organization in the United States, with over 1.6 million members. The Washington Summit is being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from July 17-18 and features many pro-Israel speakers as well as a message by satellite from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Israel is something we need to protect,” Naddaf continued. “We need to protect its freedom, we have to protect our home, and we have to protect the cradle of Christianity.”
Gabriel Naddaf, a resident of Nazareth, is a priest and actively encourages Christian Arabs to enlist in the IDF. He has faced fierce criticism as a result, including threats to his family. Naddaf”s eldest son was physically assaulted in 2013 over what Naddaf attributed to opposition to his pro-military stance.
The Washington Summit has been ongoing from July 17-18 and featured a message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via satellite.