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Christian Leaders Stand in Solidarity with Imperiled Religious Communities

"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

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- 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."

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' Jim Wallis, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, Anglican Church in North America Archbishop Robert Duncan, two United Methodist bishops and a United Methodist seminary president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson, Beeson Divinity School Dean Timothy George, Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary President Dennis Hollinger, Willow Creek Pastor Bill Hybels, Northland Church Pastor Joel Hunter, 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."

More here.

www.TheIRD.org