The Christian Embassy is an evangelical organization affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ. Like its parent organization, Christian Embassy describes itself as non-political and interdenominational.
The Christian Embassy website describes its mission this way,
"We believe that the workplace offers endless opportunities for people to explore and apply what they believe to what they do for a living. We provide safe places and practical resources to help national and international leaders working in D.C., their spouses and staffs integrate their faith and their work."
The Christian Embassy was started in 1974 by Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, and then-congressman for Arizona John Conlan, in order to serve as a spiritual resource to leaders working in Congress, the Executive Branch, and the diplomatic community.
The Christian Embassy runs a number of offices in cities around the world, including Washington D.C. and New York City. It is a Christian ministry, a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit company, and its United Nations office is a recognized Non-Governmental Organization.
- 1975 - Founded in Washington D.C.
- 1980 - Opened United Nations office
- 1985 - First annual International Prayer Breakfast on the Opening Day of the United Nations General Assembly
- 1990 - UN office officially accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
- 2006 - Washington D.C. office widely covered in the news media after the organization films a promotional video with several prominent military officers in uniform in the Pentagon.
Pentagon Promotional Video Controversy
In 2004, Christian Embassy filmed a promotional video featuring endorsements by six Congressmen, two ambassadors, two ambassadors' wives, the Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also included two civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and seven military officers, the latter filmed in uniform at the Pentagon and identified by name and rank. After the video was posted on the Christian Embassy's website in November, 2006, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group led by retired Air Force lawyer Michael Weinstein, requested an investigation in a letter to the Department's Inspector General. (The video was subsequently removed, but may still be viewed here.)
In July, 2007, the Inspector General issued a report on "Alleged Misconduct by DoD Officials Concerning Christian Embassy". The report concluded that some of the individuals filmed in the video did not violate any policies, but that others had violated DoD policy by endorsing the Christian Embassy while in uniform. Furthermore, Chaplain (Colonel) Ralph G. Benson had provided a "selective benefit" to Christian Embassy by obtaining permission for them to film the promotional video in the Pentagon, and that he had done so by "mischaracterizing the purpose and proponent of the video."
- Christian Embassy, Washington D.C.
- Christian Embassy, Mission to the United Nations
- Inspector General's Report on Alleged Misconduct by DoD Officials Concerning Christian Embassy. 5.6Mb
- Christian Embassy UN office - history
- Inquiry Sought Over Evangelical Video by Alan Cooperman, Washington Post
- Pulling Rank on Religion
- Not so fast, Christian soldiers
- Report Says Pentagon Erred In Allowing Christian Video - Church and State - September 2007