The Syrian Arab News Agency reports on Rick Warren's trip to Syria, including the appreciation he expressed for the Syrian government and American disagreement with the Bush Iraq policy and his hope for tolerance between Christians and Muslims.
ChristianNewsWire is taking the SANA reports at face value, which seems more than a tad naïve. Still, one wonders what gospel purpose is served by rubbing shoulders and posing for photo-ops with the leadership of a regime that is the sworn enemy of Jesus Christ. Perhaps Warren will offer some explanation.
In any case, it's rather difficult not to think of similar excursions into communist countries in decades past by prominent Western Christians to commiserate with the apostate, state-endorsed churches—excursions that godless governments used to polish their image when Western Christians proclaimed that communists believed in religious liberty and would never persecute Christians behind the Iron Curtain.