Poll Results to be Released at National Torture Summit In September


ATLANTA — Results of a new poll of Southern Evangelicals on their attitudes toward torture and its connection to their faith and moral values will be released next month in conjunction with a national summit on torture sponsored by 15 diverse faith groups. The conference, titled “Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul,” will convene on Mercer University’s Atlanta campus Sept. 11-12.

The poll results will be released at 10:45 a.m. on the first day of the conference. Commissioned by Mercer University and conference co-sponsor Faith in Public Life, the poll is the first major survey of Southern Evangelicals — a group that has been disproportionately supportive of the Bush administration’s foreign policy — on the issue of torture. Reporters may participate in the press conference in person or via teleconference. Dial-in instructions will be provided to journalists a week before the conference.

“Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul” is being organized by Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer. Among the more than 50 speakers, presenters and moderators scheduled to participate in the conference are academics from institutions such as Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, New York University, Seton Hall Law School, Morehouse College, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Princeton Theological Seminary and Mercer. Presenters will also include retired senior military officers and leaders from Christian, Jewish and Islamic organizations.

Among the other co-sponsors of the conference are the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Center for Victims of Torture, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Evangelicals for Social Action, Faith and the City, the Islamic Society of North America, Morehouse College, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, No2Torture, Rabbis for Human Rights, Sojourners and Third Way.

Journalists who plan to attend and cover the conference are asked to pick up media credentials at the media desk in the lobby of Mercer’s Administration and Conference Center, which will host the sessions. Credentials will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 11. The conference begins at 9 a.m. A media workroom with wireless Internet access will be set up in Room 240 of the Administration and Conference Center.

Additional program details, including a full schedule, are available at www.evangelicalsforhumanrights.org. For more information about the conference, call (678) 547-6457. For media-related questions, call (478) 301-5700.

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