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On 13 May 2017, the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, which opened in Washington D.C., USA, on May 10, held its final session. The summit, organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, brought together representatives of the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, various Protestant denominations, and the Oriental Churches. Six hundred delegates from 136 courtiers took part in the conference.

Among those who spoke at the summit’s plenary sessions were the Vice President of the Unites States, Mr. Michael R. Pence; Mr. James Lankford, Senator from Oklahoma; His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada (Orthodox Church in America); Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syriac Orthodox Church; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington (Roman Catholic Church); and Bishop Mar Awa Royel of California (Assyrian Church of the East).

The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church was led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations.

The participants in the summit called on “all followers of Christ to declare their allegiance with those who suffer for Christ’s name, to pray unceasingly, urging other believers throughout the world to pray for those being persecuted, to promote awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide and to help them in their time of need, to provide practical assistance, whenever possible, to the persecuted church, and to strengthen the worldwide witness… around the world.”

DECR Communication Service