Putting a global spotlight on Christian persecution
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 600 Christian delegates from some 130 countries are gathering in America’s capital for the first-ever World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is hosting this historic Summit that ends on Saturday. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of BGEA, kicked off the event last night. The son of the renowned evangelist acknowledged that this is a time of increasing global persecution.
“Today our Christian brothers and sisters in many countries are facing persecution and martyrdom on an unprecedented scale,” he said. “In fact, throughout the world the number of Christians facing hostility, persecution, and even death is greater than any other time in history. No part of the Christian family is exempt – Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox – nor is any part of the world exempt.”
Graham said believers must never forget the responsibility they have to speak out for those undergoing persecution for their faith.
“We must do all we can to defend and aid those who are victims,” he added.
According to Open Doors USA, approximately 215 million Christians experience “high, very high, or extreme persecution” in the 50 countries where it’s most difficult to a Christian. Graham urged his audience to call attention to the plight of the persecuted and demonstrate solidarity with those who suffer because of their faith.
The keynote speaker today at the Summit was Vice President Mike Pence (right). He spoke directly to those currently facing oppression because of their faith, assuring them of his prayers as well as the prayers of President Trump and the American people.
Pence pointed out the atrocities taking place such as the church bombings in Egypt on Palm Sunday – and the vice president told the crowd that the president sees these crimes for what they are.
“Vile acts of persecution animated by hatred: hatred for the gospel of Christ,” he stated. “And so, too, does the president know those who perpetrate these crimes. They are the embodiment of evil in our time, and he calls them by name: radical Islamic terrorists.”
In particular, the vice president called out ISIS.
“That brutal regime shows a savagery frankly unseen in the Middle East since the Middle Ages, and I believe ISIS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith – and it’s time the world called it by name.”
According to Pence, “protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of the Trump administration.”
Photo of Franklin Graham compliments of DeMoss.com.
Mr. Pence’s comments added after story was originally published.