Middle East Christians Need Advocacy, by Tom Strode, Baptist Press
"The church and the government of the United States should act in behalf of beleaguered, often forgotten Christians in the Middle East, a broad coalition of religious and other leaders says.
'"It's my hope and prayer that today will be known as the day their relief began," the ERLC's Barrett Duke said of persecuted Middle Eastern Christians at a news conference May 7. Photo by Doug Carlson/ERLCLed by two members of Congress, representatives of the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox communities united Wednesday (May 7) in Washington to release a statement in support of Christians and other religious minorities in three countries: Egypt, Iraq and Syria.
"The "Pledge of Solidarity and Call to Action" urges American congregations to pray for, become educated about and engage the federal government regarding the plight of Christians in these countries. It also calls for the U.S. government to revise its foreign policy to help protect Christian communities from the continuing threat to their existence.
"Extremist Islamic groups in Egypt, Iraq and Syria -- the Middle Eastern countries with the largest Christian populations remaining -- have produced "an existential threat" to the church in those lands, according to the document. "The current trajectory, marked by political violence and, in the cases of Iraq and Syria, a full-blown war, risks a Middle East largely emptied of the millennia-old presence of Christians," the statement says."