Deacon Chris Nahra is the In Defense of Christians Charles Malik Research Fellow. In this capacity, he conducts original research pertinent to the IDC mission. He will explore methods in effective inter-religious dialogue between Christians and Muslims as a framework and springboard toward authentic advocacy for shared human rights and the common good of society in the Middle East. Deacon Chris was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and attended Catholic grade school and high school. As an undergraduate pre-seminarian in the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, he served for three years as the youth minister and choir director at Saint Maron’s Parish in Cleveland, OH while earning his B.A. in Philosophy and Clinical Bioethics at Cleveland State University (CSU). After concluding his undergraduate studies in 2017, Deacon Chris moved to Washington, DC where in 2021, he earned two master degrees (STB and MDiv) at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in theology and youth ministry. In 2021, Chris was ordained to the diaconate and began his doctoral studies in theology at CUA, focusing on Syriac theology, inter-religious dialogue, and what makes us Maronite. In addition to his doctoral studies, Deacon Chris currently leads the music ministry program at the Maronite Seminary in Washington, DC. Deacon Chris is expected to be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in June 2023.