Organisers of an inaugural event held in Washington to highlight the persecution of Christians in the Middle East have said they remain focused and ‘undaunted’ after an incident in which a US senator was booed off stage for his support of Israel.
Attendees at the inaugural In Defense of Christians (IDC) Summit heard warnings that the brutality facing Christians and minorities in the Middle East is only worsening; and were reminded of the need for a united effort to bring an end to the atrocities to prevent further destabilisation in the region.
On Wednesday, Ted Cruz, a Republican junior United States senator from Texas, was speaking during the gala dinner at the summit, which has drawn together global leaders in the US capital over the past three days.
No greater ally
Toward the end of his keynote address, he said: ‘Christians have no greater ally than Israel.’ His remarks sparked boos from some in the audience, to which Senator Cruz continued: ‘Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians.’
Unable to continue, he left the stage, saying: ‘If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.’
Organisers of the historic event – which is the first time six Christian patriarchs from the Middle East have gathered together in the US – were keen the incident did not detract from the aims of the summit.
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