Congressman Frank Wolf

Representing the 10th District of Virginia

Updated Media Advisory: Press Conference On American Christian Leaders "Pledge" to Stand In Solidarity With Imperiled Christian Communities in the Middle East

May 5, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY

PRESS CONFERENCE: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS “PLEDGE”

TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH IMPERILED CHRISTIAN

AND OTHER SMALL RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN EGYPT, SYRIA AND IRAQ

11 a.m.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

234 Cannon House Office Building

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, will host a press conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7 on Capitol Hill featuring several prominent American Christian leaders who will be releasing a Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and other religious communities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria who are increasingly threatened in the lands they have inhabited for centuries.

The Pledge, which is signed by roughly 150 American Christian leaders from across ecumenical lines (Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox), representing a variety of sectors including thought leaders, clergy, authors, seminary and university presidents and parachurch heads among others, is a galvanizing call to action in response to the crisis facing these ancient faith communities.

The Pledge, in part, says: “Now facing an existential threat to their presence in the lands where Christianity has its roots, the Churches in the Middle East fear they have been largely ignored by their coreligionists in the West… American religious leaders need to pray and speak with greater urgency about this human rights crisis.”  

Among the foreign policy recommendations contained in the Pledge is the appointment of a high-level Special Envoy on Middle East Religious Minorities.  Wolf and Eshoo sponsored legislation to this effect which overwhelmingly passed the House last year and is presently languishing in the Senate.

In addition to the Caucus co-chairs, other speakers include (in alphabetical order):

  • Dr. Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals 
  • Archbishop Oshagan Cholayan, Armenian Apostolic Church of America
  • Dr. Jerry Johnson, president and CEO, National Religious Broadcasters
  • Jim Liske, president and CEO, Prison Fellowship Ministries
  • George J. Marlin, chairman of the Board, Aid to the Church in Need-USA
  • His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Johnnie Moore, senior vice president, Liberty University 
  • Dr. Russell D. Moore, president, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, professor of Conflict Resolution, Bedford, MA
  • Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad (Statement will be read by Joseph Kassab, founder and president, Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute)
  • Nina Shea, director and senior scholar, Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom
  • Rev. Canon Dr. Andrew White, chaplain, St George Anglican Church, Baghdad
  • Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington