Washington, D.C. – “Christians need to hear from Muslims about their involvement in international affairs” says Chris Seiple, President of the Virginia-based Institute for Global Engagement (IGE). “At this conference we won’t paper over our differences but we will listen respectfully. The Bible tells Christians we are to love our neighbor – whatever their religion. There’s no disclaimer on that commandment.”

Seiple’s remarks come on the eve of IGE’s Global Leadership Forum (21-22 September), conducted in partnership with Fairfax Community Church (FCC). IGE and FCC have both faced criticism in recent weeks. Seiple has attracted attention both from the New York Times and from CNN over a letter to President Bush he helped organize and signed along with other evangelical leaders arguing for a more even handed approach to peace in the Middle East. Concerns have been expressed by some as to why Fairfax Community Church would invite Muslim representatives to speak.

“Our desire is to encourage and equip our members to live out their faith in the marketplace of ideas and ideologies and as committed followers of Christ we need to be at the fault lines of faith and international affairs” says Alan MacDonald, FCC’s Pastor of Global Engagement. “We need to learn to respectfully engage with one another. This conference will provide a forum for the fullest and richest expression of our respective faiths on critical issues of the day.”

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Former advisor to President Bush Michael Gerson, Ambassador Robert Seiple, Ambassador Brady Anderson, Ahmed Younis and Hadia Mubarak are among the conference speakers. They will discuss the role their faith has played in their own involvement in international affairs. Entitled, “Stewarding Christian Citizenships: Heavenly, Global, & National,” the conference encourages thoughtful and challenging conversations among Christians and how they should engage international issues ranging from diplomacy to humanitarian and human rights issues.

More information about the conference is available at:

If you wish to cover this event for a media organization, please contact Amy McDowell at 703.527.2007 or email: media@globalengage.org.