The National Association of Evangelicals is formally adjusting its position after 40 years of favoring capital punishment.
The new resolution does not reverse the earlier decision made in 1973 in favor of the death penalty, but it acknowledges those evangelicals who oppose it.
“The revision is more of a ‘pivot’ as it pertains to creating space for those that may disagree with the death penalty,” Rev. Samuel Rodriguez with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and board member of the NAE said.
“For evangelicals, one of the core tenets of our faith is that no one is beyond redemption,” Shane Claiborne, an activist from Philadelphia told the Washington Post. “The death penalty raises one of the most fundamental questions for evangelicals: Do we have the right to rob someone of the possibility of redemption?”
“Millennial Christians have a more holistic life optic than baby boomer Christians,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a shift demographically, there’s a shift idealogically. You see many conservative, Republican governors even in America today reconsidering the death penalty. So it’s definitely not a liberal or conservative issue. It’s more of a 21st century Christian Evangelical ethos as it pertains to the continuity of a (pro-) life platform.”
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