Washington, DC – The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) and In Defense of Christians (IDC) have announced an official partnership. On June 1, at IRD’s Washington, DC headquarters, IRD president Mark Tooley and IDC president Andrew Doran signed a memorandum of understanding, which officially ratifies the partnership between the Washington, DC-based faith and freedom institutions. This partnership effectively confers IDC the status of an institute within IRD’s multifaceted academic, media and advocacy network.

The Institute on Religion & Democracy is a Christian thinktank, committed to traditional church teaching and ethics, and advocating for constructive Christian witness in society that includes democracy, human rights, and religious freedom for all people. In Defense of Christians is a human rights organization which educates and advocates for the preservation and development of the Middle East’s ancient Christian communities and Christian cultural heritage. This complementary partnership will greatly extend IDC’s reach for greater mission impact, while augmenting IRD’s work in the area of international religious freedom.

“We’re delighted by this partnership with IDC,” said IRD president Mark Tooley. “IRD was founded in 1981 to advocate for persecuted Christians when too many church leaders were silent. IDC’s work will allow us again to focus on the plight of suffering people of faith about whom there is still too much silence,” continued Tooley.

“It’s been an honor to be part of the work of IDC for so many years, dating back to its founding. I’m honored to support its important work in the years to come,” said IDC founding president Andrew Doran. “Since IDC’s inception, the hope was to forge stronger ties between American and Middle East Christians. With the leadership, support, and guidance of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, IDC will expand and flourish. This is a very exciting opportunity,” expressed Doran.

According to IDC executive director Richard Ghazal, “Christian ethics and natural law, which comprise IRD’s intellectual nucleus, are the philosophical wellspring of the universal principles of human rights, which IDC is committed to defend.” Ghazal continued: “IDC couldn’t imagine a better partner with whom to advance its crucial mission to preserve Christianity in the land of its origin.




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