The Philos Project is committed to a positive vision for the whole Middle East, yet we also have a core set of interests. Our four central concerns are:
- Protecting and advancing the well-being of Christians. Christianity is a Middle Eastern religion and millions of our brothers and sisters still claim the name of Christ in those ancient lands. We stand firmly by their side as they seek to remain in the region and rebuild their societies, especially the heavily-decimated Soraya – Assyrians, Syriacs, Chaldeans, and Arameans – who are struggling to preserve their culture across the Fertile Crescent.
- Defending the sovereign existence of the Jewish people. We believe that any positive engagement with the Middle East must begin with the State of Israel. Though imperfect, Israel is a vibrant enclave of liberty that demonstrates how Jews, Muslims, and Christians can live side-by-side in a modern yet religiously-informed state. The Jewish people merit sovereignty. The State of Israel is our ally. More importantly, Israel is the source and keeper of the Hebraic tradition – the Hebrew Bible and the world-changing ideas that flow from that ancient text – and in that sense the Jews are more than just another population group in the Middle East. The Philos Project calls less for “supporting” Israel and more for partnering with her in the spirit of friendship to advance our common values in the region.
- Empowering Muslims who share our values and opposing those who attack them. Muslims are the largest population group in the Middle East, and their future will largely determine the future of the region. The Philos Project recognizes that Islam has given birth to a number of violent groups and ideologies that are committed to annihilating the Hebraic tradition and every other tradition not cast in its own mold. But we also recognize that most Muslims are mere bystanders who want to live peacefully in their homes and communities. Christian engagement with the region must always proceed on this parallel track: affirming good and confronting evil. We believe that the United States can build strong alliances with those Muslims in the region who support liberty and justice for all peoples and thereby undermine the thugs who try to scare them into silence.
- Educating Christian leaders on how to engage the region. Western interaction with the Middle East has been erratic to say the least. We believe that the problem stems from a basic ignorance about the region and its people. The Philos Project seeks to build a community of educated Christian leaders from all backgrounds who possess the knowledge and discernment to facilitate constructive, long-term engagement with the region.