ACN joins ecumenical effort in support of persecuted Middle East Christians
The U.S. national office of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), an international Catholic charity that supports the persecuted and suffering Church around the world, has committed to the "Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and other Small Religious Communities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria."
Yesterday (May 7, 2014), a multi-faith initiative launched by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Anne Eshoo (D-CA) at the US Capitol, called on US-based Churches and religious leaders, lay and clergy—Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant— for a stronger involvement in support of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.
ACN-USA joined leading Catholic organizations and individuals to lend its support especially to the cause of persecuted Christians.
“Events of recent days, weeks, months and even years in Syria, Iraq and Egypt have revealed an increasingly blatant and violent campaign of Christian religious targeting and persecution that has provoked an unprecedented exodus of faithful from the region,” said ACN-USA Chairman of the Board George Marlin.
“The time to act is now,” he said, “time to call on our government for concrete action to protect these vulnerable communities and to urge the people in our parishes and congregations to pray for and support their persecuted brothers and sisters. ACN-USA is proud to play an important role in this vital initiative.”
Thanks to the organization’s “long-established in-country relationships,” said Marlin, ACN-USA has for many years played a key role in supporting local Church leaders in the region and in many other countries where Christians are persecuted.
Furthermore, said Marlin, “ACN-USA calls on all world governments to protect Christianity’s patrimony and its presence in the Middle East; to recognize and support the Church as a critical resource in helping to rebuild communities in conflict; and to enable local Christian communities to be of service to all citizens, regardless of faith.”
“This is not a matter of pitting Christianity against Islam,” said Marlin, “but to put a halt to the abuses perpetrated by extremist Islamic factions bent on the destruction of Christianity, groups which inflict suffering on the general population as well.”
To read the “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action,” please visit www.churchinneed.org/PledgeofSolidarity