Monday, September 08, 2014

In Defense of Christians: Six patriarchs of Middle East gather in DC

September 8, 2014, Monday — Six Patriarchs
Six of the patriarchs of the Christian Churches of the Middle East will be, for the first time ever, gathered together in the United States for the next three days. They will be meeting in Washington D.C. starting tomorrow.
This is important because the presence of the Christian community in the entire Middle East is now threatened, with hundreds of thousands fleeing the region, and thousands killed by the radical Islamic fighters of "ISIS" ("The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria").
Washington Summit to Call Attention to Plight of Christians in the Middle East
Historic Gathering Will Feature Patriarchs from Middle East, Lawmakers and International Human Rights Activists
Washington – The deteriorating situation facing millions of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East will be the focus of a bipartisan and ecumenical conference in the nation's capital.
The three-day event sponsored by In Defense of Christians (IDC) will feature speakers from all over the globe.
The IDC Summit for Middle East Christians, whose theme is “Protecting and Preserving Christianity, Where It All Began”, will be the first occasion in history where six Christian Patriarchs from the Middle East will gather together in the United States.
IDC President Toufic Baaklini said, “For too long, Westerners have stood by, silent or unaware, while Christians and other groups in the Middle East have endured discrimination, persecution, and religious cleansing. Today, as the Islamic State continues its genocidal campaign against Christians in Iraq and Syria, the globe is finally awakening to their plight. IDC exists to give voice to these voiceless people. In this hour of their greatest peril, they are in desperate need of support. We must act now.”
Baaklini stated: “To this end, IDC is hosting a historic global Summit for Middle East Christians, September 9-11, in Washington, D.C.
This summit will empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. Their survival is vital to stability in the region, and their ability to flourish in their countries of origin has national security implications for the United States.”
Summit attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress and their staff, policy makers, diplomats, human rights activists, and religious leaders. Speakers include:
* Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Rai;
* Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II;
* Archbishop of Washington Donald Cardinal Wuerl;
* Leonardo Cardinal Sandri of the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for
Oriental Churches;
* Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX);
* Senator Debbie Stabenow (R-MI);
* Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA);
* Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL);
* Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL);
* Dr. James Zogby; and
* Nina Shea, Director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

In Defense of Christians (IDC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to the preservation and protection of Christians in the Middle East.

2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 325, Washington, D.C. 20006
CONTACT: Joseph Cella

[Hat tip to S.F.]