Christian persecution to be the focus of Third International Religious Freedom Conference in US

The persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world will be the focus of the Third International Conference on Religious Freedom which will be held in Washington, D.C. from Dec. 4 to 6.

(REUTERS / Khalid al Mousil)Iraqi Christians pray as they attend a Good Friday mass at a church in Baghdad. March 25, 2016.

The upcoming conference in the U.S. is a response to various reports about the rising persecution of Christians because of their faith. The gathering, which is titled "Persecution of Christians in the Holy Lands and the Middle East: Consequences and Solutions," is sponsored by the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Religion News Service detailed.

"Christianity is being wiped out from the very lands in which it was born 2,000 years ago," said the Order of St. Andrew's National Commander, Dr. Anthony Limberakis. "The conference aims to shed light on this crisis confronting Christians in the Middle East."

The topics that will be discussed during the international conference next month include the history of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, possible solutions to the persecution of believers, freedom of religion, and holy sites. The delegates will include the Archbishop Demetrios of America; the United Kingdom's Coptic leader, Bishop Angaelos; World Council of Arameans president Johny Messo; U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom vice chair Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz; and other activists, academics, government officials and religious leaders.

Earlier this month, members of the Catholic-Muslim Forum met in Berkeley, California, for three days to discuss the importance of protecting religious freedom. At the end of the gathering, the participants concluded that the two faiths have the duty to respect and preserve freedoms of conscience and religion, Crux reported.

The forum had been organized by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a number of Muslim scholars.

In addition, the participants of the forum declared that conflicts and insecurity were hindrances to the fulfillment of God's will for mankind. For this reason, they denounced wars and the arms trade that contributed to such conflicts and called for the wise use of resources to facilitate growth of humanity.