According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, Christians remain the largest religious group in the world, but they are also among the most oppressed. Next week, 600 Christians from 130 countries will gather in Washington D.C. for the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in an effort to raise awareness for the plight of Christians around the globe.
Hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), the summit will run from May 10 through May 13. Charisma News reports that, in addition to planning and organizing emergency relief efforts for those facing persecution and genocide, the meeting has four goals:
- Help change public policy that promotes discrimination against Christians, harassment and persecution
- Find ways to increase diplomatic pressure on the violating states
- Inform and mobilize Christians to address President Trump and their elected officials to take stronger American action against the increasing persecution
- Comfort and help the victims respond in a biblical manner.
“If one part of the body suffers, everyone suffers, and we are responsible for our brothers and sisters,” said Rev. Viktor Hamm, vice president of Crusade Ministries at the BGEA. “And [Christians] should have taken that responsibility years ago.”
A group of Christians who have faced or escaped persecution in one of the 60 countries where oppression at the hands of the government or opposing groups is known are also expected to attend the summit and share their personal experiences with the invitation-only group that will include leaders from churches and denominations around the world.
In speaking about the event, Franklin Graham has asked for “prayers” as they seek to “shed a global spotlight on this crisis.”
“We will bring delegates from around the world,” he said, “to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and to hear firsthand reports of the suffering that is taking place.”
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