Welcome at Wednesday Breakfast by Archon Commander Anthony J. Limberakis at the 3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom (December 6, 2017)




3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom

The Persecution of Christians In The Holy Lands & Middle East Consequences and Solutions

Trump Hotel
Washington, DC
(December 6, 2017 – 8:30 – 9:30 am)

* * *

Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Exarch of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Your Eminences and Excellencies,
Senator Rubio,
Brother Archons,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I welcome all of you to this morning fellowship. Yesterday was truly an inspirational day, a day rich with dialogue and conversations, and with the presence of the leaders of our government, a hopeful sign for the work of this Third International Conference on Religious Freedom. Please allow me to express on behalf of all the Archons our abiding gratitude and appreciation for your presence and participation in these most urgent conversations on the fate of Christianity in the lands of its birth and growth.

We all see the dangers encroaching on historic and ancient communities throughout the region. The recent violence against Sufi Muslims in North Sinai in the attack on a mosque that left over 300 dead. As we know so well, Sinai is the home to the Monastery of Saint Katherine, the world’s oldest institution with a continuous history in one place. The violence within the Muslim world between differing traditions – whether they be Sunni, Shi’a, Sufi, Alewi, Druze or any other – demonstrates that the danger is not only against the Christian and Jewish communities. Violence and persecution of one eventually leads to violence and persecution of all. As the prominent Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller – who spent seven years of his life in a Nazi concentration camp said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

My friends, we must speak out for who suffer this bane of religious hatred and persecution. Thank you for your willingness to add your voices to ours.

Quick Links

Quick Facts

  • While about 30 percent of the world’s population identifies as Christian, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed at Christians. (Source: International Society for Human Rights)
  • Christians face persecution in more than 60 Countries (U.S. State Department)
  • Millions of Christians face interrogation, arrest, torture, and/or death because of their religious convictions and cultural/ethnic identification (Source: Open Doors USA)
  • Between 2007 and 2014, Christians have been targeted for harassment in more countries than any other religious group. (Pew Research)
  • Christian responses to persecution are almost always nonviolent and, with very few exceptions, do not involve acts of terrorism. (Under Caesar’s Sword)

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The Latest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Marco Rubio emphasized Wednesday that with the increasing persecution of Christians in the Middle East, complacency with the current situation is not an option for the United States.
Persecution of Christians in the Middle East by Chairman Ed Royce - Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
It is an honor to be with you tonight to discuss the troubling increase in persecution of Christians around the world, including in the Middle East. The Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity and has been home to millions of believers for generations.

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