Washington, D.C. - August 5, 2022

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Press Release: In Memoriam - Dr. Ron Sider

On July 29, 2022, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) received the news that Dr. Ron Sider, an author, seminary professor, pacifist, and evangelical social justice activist, had passed away on Wednesday night, July 27, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Arbutus, his three children, and their families. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) grieves the news of the passing of Dr. Sider and stands alongside our member organization Christians for Social Action (CSA) as they respond to the loss of their founder and friend. Ron changed the shape of American evangelicalism and had a deep global impact as he advocated for pacifism, justice, and responding to the needs of the poor.

Dr. Ron Sider (Chair) was the Founder and President Emeritus of Christians for Social Action. He was the Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry & Public Policy at Palmer Theological Seminary. Ron was known worldwide for providing leadership to the movement of evangelicals who recognize not just the spiritual, but also the social and political, implications of a high view of Scripture. His 1977 book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger was lauded by Christianity Today as being among the top 100 books in religion in the 20th century and the seventh most influential book in the evangelical world in the last 50 years. A native of Fort Erie, Ontario, Sider was raised among Anabaptists in the Brethren in Christ Church. After earning a doctorate in history at Yale, he began teaching at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, then moved in 1977 to Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which later was renamed Palmer Theological Seminary. Sider, a longtime professor at Palmer Theological Seminary, is best known his book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and for founding Christians for Social Action (CSA), which seeks to rally evangelicals and other Christians to put their faith to work in support of the common good.

CMEP’s executive director wrote a review of Dr. Sider’s 2020 book Speak Your Peace: What the Bible Says about Loving Your Enemies which can be read here

For those who would like to send a card to Ron’s family, or email a message, please feel free to send it to: or mail to: Family of Ron Sider, c/o Christians for Social Action, 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087 (You can see a history of Ron’s work through Christians for Social Action here.)

Responses from Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Leadership In Memoriam of
Dr. Ron Sider 

It is hard to put to words the profound impact Ron Sider has had on my life both academically and spiritually. He and I would regularly discuss and often disagree about ideas like James Cone's theology of the cross and whether or not pacifism was the only answer to living out the Gospel in a violent world. As my dissertation advisor, Ron advised me and heavily edited my thesis on ‘the spiritually transformative process of learning to love your enemy.’ His memory will live on in the ministry and efforts of myself and so many as we continue to work toward peace and advocate against injustice. Ron will be greatly missed! - Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)

Ron has always been a peacemaker, shalom oriented. I've appreciated the ways he's added a deeper understanding of what peacemaking means. He encouraged those seeking peace to be as proactive as those who perpetuate violence and this spurred a lot of creativity that we have seen present in the Middle East. In specific, I'm thinking of ministries that were birthed from that challenge like the Christian Peacemaker Teams, and their work accompanying those vulnerable to violence in the Middle East and beyond. - Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Executive Director, Christians for Social Action (CSA)


Ron Sider’s writing on the Christian’s responsibility to care for those who are suffering hunger and poverty played an important role in my ministry formation. Additionally, his call to robust and embodied peacemaking catalyzed the Historic Peace Churches and broader Church to boldly follow Jesus’ call to peacemaking, through the formation of Christian Peacemaker Teams (now Community Peacemaker Teams). - Rev. Dr. Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren and former Chair, Steering Committee Christian Peacemaker Teams (now Community Peacemaker Teams)


I never met Dr. Ron Sider in person or at any event. Like so many my relationship was through his writing, especially Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. Dr. Sider's book was one of the primary texts in the Just Faith Program in the middle to late 1990's. For me as a Catholic, just out of graduate theology school, it was revelatory to have such a work done by an evangelical scholar--such scholarship was mostly foreign to me at the time. It allowed me a new openness to work ecumenically and together unlock the moral imagination for social transformation. What a gift Dr. Sider remains to the world as we continue to face the daunting questions of how to live authentic lives. - Russ Testa, JPIC Animator, U.S. Franciscan (ofm)


Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of more than 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.


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