US Christians pledge solidarity with endangered Mideast Christians

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 175 American Christian leaders have signed a "Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action" expressing their concern and support for embattled Christians in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl says the church cannot remain silent while some of Christianity's most ancient communities are driven into exile or extinction.

Joining him at a news conference on Capitol Hill were Evangelical and Orthodox Christian leaders and Canon Andrew White, pastor of St. George Anglican Church in Baghdad. White said he personally has been shot at and kidnapped, and Iraqi children ask him, "Has the world forgotten us?"

The pledge calls for appointment of a U.S. Special Envoy on Middle East Religious Minorities, assistance to refugees and a review of foreign aid to discourage further persecution in Egypt, Iraq and Syria. It also urges American Christian leaders "to pray and speak with greater urgency about this human rights crisis."

Online: http://wolf.house.gov/sites/wolf.house.gov/files/PledgeANDSigner%20List%20May%207.pdf

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237-a-11-(Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, at news conference)-"tell these stories"-Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, says the media need to report persecution suffered by Christian converts in Islamic nations. (7 May 2014)

<<CUT *237 (05/07/14)££ 00:11 "tell these stories"

235-a-14-(The Rev. Leith (LEETH) Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, at news conference)-"a special envoy"-The Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, says the plight of Christians in Egypt, Iraq and Syria cannot be ignored. (7 May 2014)

<<CUT *235 (05/07/14)££ 00:14 "a special envoy"

236-a-10-(Canon Andrew White, pastor of St. George Anglican Church in Baghdad, at news conference)-"fingers and toes"-Canon Andrew White, pastor of St. George Anglican Church in Baghdad, says he understands why more than a million Christians have fled Iraq. (7 May 2014)

<<CUT *236 (05/07/14)££ 00:10 "fingers and toes"

238-a-07-(Joseph Kassab, president of the Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute, at news conference)-"leave us alone"-Joseph Kassab, president of the Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute, says Egypt, Iraq and Syria were the cradle of Christianity. (7 May 2014)

<<CUT *238 (05/07/14)££ 00:07 "leave us alone"

234-w-33-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Canon Andrew White, pastor of St. George Anglican Church in Baghdad)--More than 175 American Christian leaders are expressing concern and support for embattled Christians in Egypt, Iraq and Syria. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (7 May 2014)

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