The inaugural summit of the group In Defense of Christians will be held next week in Washington, DC, gathering a Vatican official with US lawmakers and several top Christian leaders from the Middle East.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, will join Catholic and Orthodox leaders including Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians for the Syriac Catholic Church; Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Raï, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch; His Beatitude Gregorius III Laham, Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, the spiritual leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
The In Defense of Christians (IDC) Summit for Middle East Christians, whose theme is “Protecting and Preserving Christianity, Where It All Began”, will be the first occasion in history where six Christian Patriarchs from the Middle East will gather together in the United States.
Cardinal Sandri will participate in an ecumenical prayer service on the first evening of the event.
Themes of the addresses and discussions include the call to unity, religious freedom and human dignity, and changing policy through awareness and advocacy.
Panels will also discuss why Christianity is vital for the Middle East.
For more information or to register: http://www.idcsummit.org