Washington, DC – In Defense of Christians (IDC), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa, will be co-hosting the annual In Defense of Christians Ecumenical Prayer Service with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC on July 14, 2021 at 6:30 pm (ET).

The Ecumenical Prayer Service falls on the one-year anniversary of the reconversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, and will solemnly commemorate the event.

The Ecumenical Prayer Service will occur in coordination with the International Religious Freedom Summit 2021, co-chaired by Ambassador Sam Brownback, former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights.

Various Christian traditions will be represented at the Ecumenical Prayer Service, with prayers from the following members of the clergy:

  1. H.E. Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London
  2. H.E. Archbishop Elpidophoros, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  3. H.E. Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
  4. H.E. Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern United States
  5. H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church
  6. H.E. Bishop Denis Madden, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, USCCB
  7. H.E. Bishop Gregory Mansour, Bishop of the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn
  8. H.E. Bishop Elias Zaidan, Bishop of the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles
  9. Bishop Roy Campbell, Auxiliary Bishop, Washington, DC
  10. Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace
  11. Rev. Johnnie Moore, President of the Kairos Company and former USCIRF Commissioner
  12. Pastor Dr. Bob Roberts Jr., Founder of Northwood Church, GlocalNet & Multi-Faith Neighbors Network
  13. Pastor Andrew Brunson, Author of God’s Hostage

“We look forward to joining in Christian fellowship and praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the Middle East and Africa, especially as we remember the Hagia Sophia,” said IDC President Toufic Baaklini.


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