The Philos Project launches to promote positive Christian engagement in the Middle East

By Thursday, January 1, 2015

NEW YORK (Jan. 10, 2015) — The Philos Project, a new nonprofit based in New York City, has launched to educate American Christians on Middle Eastern affairs and equip them to advocate for justice in that very troubled part of the world.

The Philos Project will work to proclaim friendship with peace-loving people in the Middle East; revive the Christian approach to foreign policy, especially as it relates to this region; educate Christians on all of the issues that surround Israel and the Jewish people, and empower the church to advocate for real peace in tangible ways.

“The Middle East is the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of Christianity,” said founder and president Robert Nicholson. “But today the region is engulfed in radicalism and violence that hinders the gospel, oppresses the innocent, and threatens those who share our values. We believe the church in America has the ability and the duty to help.”

The Philos Project calls for a serious and sustainable movement that is grounded in biblical orthodoxy and expressed rationally in the public square. “What our country needs is a foreign policy that reflects the deeply-rooted moral principles of our faith,” Nicholson said. “More importantly, we need gospel-minded leaders who are courageous enough to promote these principles in the public square.”

Training and equipping these leaders to be active partners in this endeavor is the overarching goal of The Philos Project.

“We affirm the work of organizations that provide many of the basic necessities needed to alleviate suffering,” said Deputy Director Luke Moon. “However, the attention of The Philos Project is fixed on more long-term strategies for real peace and justice.”

Executive Director Robert Nicholson, a former United States Marine and Tikvah Fellow, holds a BA in Hebrew Studies from SUNY Binghamton and a JD and MA (Middle Eastern history) from Syracuse University. Deputy Director Luke Moon was previously the business manager for the Institute on Religion and Democracy and former missionary with Youth with a Mission.

One of The Philos Project’s most exciting initiatives is the Philos Leadership Institute, an advanced four-week program for promising young leaders. Participants will be trained in leadership, advocacy, social entrepreneurship and humanitarian relief, as they study various aspects of the Middle East. PLI will enable them to advocate for those who are suffering in the homeland of the Christian faith.

“We are excited to take Christian advocacy to the next level and into the next generation,” Executive Director Nicholson said. “New arguments, new faces and new ways of engaging culture – these are the core elements underlying The Philos Project.”

The Philos Project’s website, www.philosproject.org, will be a clearinghouse for news, commentary, and expert analysis about the Middle East as seen through a Christian lens.

“Working to promote biblical values in the domestic arena is critical,” said Deputy Director Moon. “However, the church is a transnational body with a transnational message, and there is no reason why our activism should stop at our borders. People in the Middle East are dying, and they need our help.”

For more information about The Philos Project or to speak with Executive Director Nicholson or Deputy Director Moon, visit www.philosproject.org or contact Media Director Jessie Owen at jessica@philosproject.org or 716-597-4785.

Luke Moon

Luke Moon is the Deputy Director of the Philos Project. Prior to that, Luke served as business manager for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, and, before that, as a missionary with Youth with a Mission for 12 years. Luke has lived, worked, and taught in over 45 countries, and has advocated on a number of human rights issues along the way. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations and an MA in Global Politics from Regent University. Luke is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister.