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May 7, 2014

Christian Leaders Stand in Solidarity with Imperiled Religious Communities

Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release | May 7, 2014
Contact:  Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org

 

“Let’s pray and work so this pledge signifies a new, determined and permanent coalition ensuring that Christians in America at least are not silent about the suffering church in the ancient lands where the apostles first preached.”
-Mark Tooley, IRD President

 

Washington, D.C.—More than 150 American Christian leaders from across ecumenical lines are issuing a call to action in response to a crisis facing ancient faith communities.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, hosted a Capitol Hill press conference this morning featuring several prominent American Christian leaders who will be releasing a “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action” on behalf of Christians and other religious communities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria who are increasingly threatened in the lands they have inhabited for centuries.

The Pledge, in part, says: “Now facing an existential threat to their presence in the lands where Christianity has its roots, the Churches in the Middle East fear they have been largely ignored by their coreligionists in the West… American religious leaders need to pray and speak with greater urgency about this human rights crisis.”

The pledge can be read in its entirety here. Click here to view a list of pledge signers.

Signers include National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell D. Moore, Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Sojourners President Jim Wallis, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, Anglican Church in North America Archbishop Robert Duncan, United Methodist Bishops Ken Carter of Florida & Mark Webb of Upper New York, United Theological Seminary President Wendy Deichmann (United Methodist), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson, Beeson Divinity School Dean Timothy George, Armenian Orthodox Archbishop Oshagan Cholayan, Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary President Dennis Hollinger, Willow Creek Church Pastor Bill Hybels, Lynne Hybels of Global Engagement of the Willow Creek Church, Northland Church Pastor Joel Hunter, National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Prison Fellowship Ministries President Jim Liske and Institute on Religion & Democracy President Mark Tooley.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“I am honored to stand with so many Christian leaders ecumenically across the spectrum in a rare unity in defense of persecuted fellow Christians in the Middle East.

“Let’s pray and work so this pledge signifies a new, determined and permanent coalition ensuring that Christians in America at least are not silent about the suffering church in the ancient lands where the apostles first preached.”

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  • John E

    Where are the Presbyterian names on this list? I see Anglicans, Episcopalians, Catholics, Orthodox, Methodists, and Baptist. Did our leadership not know about this declaration or did it know and refuse to sign?