Coptic Solidarity Annual Conference brings Mideast Christians to focus
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity will host its Fifth Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 26 – 27 focusing on the theme: After Arab Spring, Middle East Christians Between Local Violence and International Indifference
The escalation of attacks on Christians in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya demonstrate a clear need for concerted attention to save these minorities before they become extinct in their ancestral homelands.
Christians in the Middle East are indigenous peoples, and are the descendants of the creators of great civilizations. They also represent the oldest Christian churches in the world.
Targeted by Islamist extremists, they suffer daily tragedies, from murder, torture, abduction and rape, to forced payment of Jizyah (tribute) and forced displacement from their homes and neighborhoods. Violent attacks target their churches, institutions, homes and businesses. When spared violence, they are systematically treated as second-class citizens and are often denied the most basic human rights and liberties.
The Iraqi Christian population has been decimated to a mere 25% of their pre-1991 numbers, while 25% of Syrian Christians departed the country during the current uprising. About 200, 000 Christians have fled Egypt in the past three years.
Christians in the Middle East are paying the heavy price for the escalation of Islamist extremism over the last four decades, the regional convulsions and crises, and the West's political mistakes. Extremists have apparent designs to cleanse the region of its indigenous Christians, while governments deny them protection or, sometimes, are in collusion with extremists. Meanwhile, the international community watches passively as these tragedies unfold.
This year, Coptic Solidarity is partnering with MECHRIC (The Middle East Christians Committee), which is a federation of independent NGOs, including Coptic, Maronite, Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac, Melkite and others, in order to create greater awareness among the general public. The list of prominent invited speakers at the conference spans legislators, officials, Think-Tanks, NGOs, public figures as well as authors and media personalities.
The annual Policy Day will be held in the Capitol Visitor's Center on June 26th. The program will continue at the Key Bridge Marriot on June 27th. The conference is open to the public, subject to preregistration (http://www.copticsolidarity.org/register-now) and we encourage individuals, NGO personnel and media to attend.
Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt. For more information, contact Hal Meawad 240-644-5153 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Coptic Solidarity