SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — As Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza is expected to commence at any time now, Christian pastors are urging members of their congregation to stand with Israel. Members of the Southern Baptist Convention put out a statement days ago supporting Israel, One of the 90 is the pastor at Redemption Church in north Mobile County.

Ed Litton is also the former president of the SBC. The statement outlines their collective condemnation of the terror attacks from Hamas at the end of a Jewish holiday where more than 1,000 civilians were killed.

They are asking members of their congregation to pray for Israel–they say Israel was attacked by an aggressor and according to the just-war doctrine, they should defend themselves. At the same time, they are praying for peace and hoping this does not spread into a wider war in the region.

“Christians should support Israel for a host of reasons, and there’s a lot of divergence of opinions among Christians about how far that support goes. But we should support anybody that is being brutally terrorized. And just as our country has been terrorized,” said Redemption Church Pastor Ed Litton.

“The entire region could be engulfed in this. And so our concern is first and foremost for the lives of those people. But we love Israel and we stand by Israel. No nation on the face of the earth throughout history has suffered more genocidal madness than the eradication of the Jewish people in the hearts throughout time,” he continued.