The persecution of Christians has reached historic proportions. In the 25 years that statistics have been kept, the persecution of Christians has reached record numbers each year for the past three years with 2016 being the worst year yet. Millions of Christians face interrogation, arrest, torture, and/or death because of their religious convictions and cultural/ethnic identification. While about 30 percent of the world’s population identifies as Christian, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed at Christians. Terrorist attacks against Christians escalated 309 percent between 2003 and 2010. Specifically, groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and Boco Haram have committed genocide. Nevertheless, Christian responses to persecution are almost always non-violent, demonstrating the power of forgiveness and resilience.
Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed their “shared profound concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain full citizens in their homelands” in May 2014. In parts of the Middle East—Christianity’s birthplace—Christian groups have been threatened with extinction. Ten years ago there were nearly 1 million Christians in Iraq, with a large majority in Mosul. Today, there are just a few dozen in that city. The time is now to end the senseless murder and persecution of Christians.
Top U.S. invited officials, religious leaders, human rights activists, and academics will come together December 4-6, 2017 in Washington D.C. in response to this modern-day crisis at the 3rd International Religious Freedom conference hosted by the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), James Lankford (R-OK); US Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ). Jay Sekulow, American Center for Law & Justice Chief Counsel; Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, US Commission on International Religious Freedom Vice Chair; Ambassador Patrick Theros, US Ambassador to Qatar (retired); Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce; Archbishop Demetrios of America; Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in the UK; Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Church of America, Ecumenical Office Director; Archbishop Dionysius Kawak, Syriac Orthodox Church; Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President, Appeal of Consciousness Foundation; Sam Brownback, Ambassador-At-Large for Religious Freedom-designate; Johny Messo, President, World Council of Arameans (Syriacs); Kate Nahapetian, Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights, Executive Director; Hank Hanegraaff, President Christian Research Institute; Nathaniel Hurd, Helsinki Commission Policy Advisor; William Antholis, CEO of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs; Gene Policinski, Newseum Institute Religious Freedom Center COO; Sidney Griffith S.T., Professor of Early Christian Studies, Catholic University of America.
WHEN: December 4-6, 2017
WHERE: Washington D.C.
For more information, please visit conference.archons.org