Gathering this week will organize and mobilize the America’s ecumenical Diaspora leaders to support the Christians of the Middle East
Washington, D.C. — In Defense of Christians (IDC) today announced its upcoming inaugural “National Leadership: Mobilizing America for the Christians in the Middle East” that will take place in Washington, D.C. next week from September 9 to 11. Serving a constituency of growing importance to the American public and to governments around the globe, the convention will feature political, religious, and grassroots leaders, as well as participants from across the United States.
IDC’s grassroots chapter leaders will travel to the nation’s capital from around the country to advocate for the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East, to build ecumenical coalitions, to launch regional chapters, and to raise awareness with leading artists, singers, and filmmakers. The convention program will span events at the National Press Club, Capitol Hill, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Hall of States, and at the French Embassy.
The convention will commence on September 9 at the National Press Club with a panel on genocide. Speakers include Congressman Frank Wolf, Katrina Lantos Swett, author Johnnie Moore, and others. Cardinal Wuerl will then lead an ecumenical prayer service on Capitol Hill.
September 10 will launch a Capitol Hill event on “Mobilizing Congress for the Christians of the Middle East” that will feature bipartisan Members of Congress. To date, over 20 Members of the United States House of Representatives have committed to speaking about the plight of Christians in the Middle East—and the number continues to grow. Following the event and a reception in the Senate, IDC’s Diaspora chapters will canvass offices in both the House and Senate, urging their representatives in Congress to champion the cause of Middle East Christianity. This coordinated lobbying effort from America’s Diaspora community is a historic and timely initiative—the first major step in a sustained and powerful advocacy campaign.
That night at the French Embassy, IDC will host a cultural event on “Celebrating Christian Art and Culture from the Middle East.” The evening will bring together artists, singers, and filmmakers to elevate the cultural achievements of Middle Eastern Christians from the region and from across America.
Friday’s programming will focus on building bridges between Middle East and American Christians and building state chapters to organize and mobilize grassroots efforts. The day will culminate in the Solidarity Dinner, which will feature remarks by Ambassador David Saperstein, Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus, His Emminence Cardinal Wuerl, His Excellency Bishop Mansour, His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius Younan III, and other distinguished speakers.
More information can be found online at www.idcconvention.org.
IDC exists to empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity with the Christian communities in the region. Last September, at IDC’s historic Inaugural Summit, “Protecting and Preserving Christianity — Where It All Began,” Members of Congress, members of the Diaspora, and religious leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C. to champion the cause of Middle Eastern Christians through awareness, advocacy, and unity.