Comment on the Recent IDC Gala Dinner by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

Bishop Angaelos
Bishop Angaelos

Now that the dust has settled after the recent In Defense of Christians (IDC) Gala dinner in Washington on 10 September 2014, I feel it is appropriate to comment because of the nature of my work on inter-religious relations and reconciliation in Britain and around the world.

My observation was of a large gathering of people, particularly connected to Iraq and Syria, experiencing very real and personal pain, and had come together to represent relatives either displaced, persecuted, missing, or murdered. In my own address and in my general view as a Christian and a minister I believe there is complete clarity that advocacy must be for all who suffer persecution, Christian or otherwise, and that this is a time for collaboration to this end. Continue reading “Comment on the Recent IDC Gala Dinner by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom”

Statement of In Defense of Christians (IDF) President Following Disruption at Gala Dinner

Toufic Baaklini - IDC President
Toufic Baaklini – IDC President

In Defense of Christians President Toufic Baaklini issued the following statement in response to a disruption at the Inaugural Summit Gala Dinner: “As Cardinal Rai so eloquently put it to the attendees of the In Defense of Christians’ inaugural Summit gala dinner: ‘At every wedding, there are a few problems.’  In this case, a few politically motivated opportunists chose to divide a room that for more than 48 hours sought unity in opposing the shared threat of genocide, faced not only by our Christian brothers and sisters, but our Jewish brothers and sisters and people of all other faiths and all people of good will.

“Tonight’s injection of politics when the focus should have been on unity and faith, momentarily played into the hands of a few who do not adhere to IDC’s principles.  They were made no longer welcome.

“When we set out to form In Defense of Christians, many in the foreign policy and faith-based communities said such an effort was impossible.  That it would be too difficult to bring such a diverse group of Christian sects, religious and human rights organizations together to draw attention not only to the plight of the deteriorating situation facing our Christians brothers and sisters, but also to the plight of all people of faith, in the Middle East who are suffering. Continue reading “Statement of In Defense of Christians (IDF) President Following Disruption at Gala Dinner”