NEW YORK (May. 28)
Eight prominent Christian clergymen, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, issued a statement yesterday urging all Americans to “support the independence, integrity and freedom of Israel in the current crisis.” The group included leaders of the Protestant, Catholic and Russian Orthodox faiths. The clergymen declared that “men of conscience must not remain silent at this time” and warned that the Egyptian blockade of the Strait of Tiran “may lead to a major conflagration.”
In addition to Dr. King, who signed the churchmen’s statement as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the signers included: the Rev. John C. Bennett, president, Union Theological Seminary; the Rev. Robert McAfee Brown, professor of religion, Stanford University; Dr. Franklin Littell, president Iowa Wesleyan College; Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, professor-emeritus of theology, Union Theological Seminary; the Rev. Alexander Schmemann, dean, St. Vladimir’s Russian Orthodox Seminary; Rev. John Sheerin, editor, The Catholic World; and Bishop Stephen Gill Spotswood of Washington.