ANCA sponsors Middle East Christians' national convention in Washington

The Armenian National Committee of America has sponsored a national convention of Middle Eastern Christians which will be held at Washington D.C. from Oct. 24 to 26.

(REUTERS / SANA / Handout via Reuters)Armenian Orthodox Christians gather at their church of St Sarkis in Old Damascus for Christmas service January 6, 2014.

In partnership with the group In Defense of Christians, ANCA has become a sponsor of the upcoming Washington D.C. summit which will see several Christian leaders come together to fight for religious freedom and preserve Christianity in the Middle East. The convention will also welcome legislators and other freedom advocates to their press conference, ecumenical prayer service, panel discussions, meetings with Members of Congress, and other activities, Arm Radio detailed.

"We are pleased to renew our partnership with In Defense of Christians, a movement that effectively harnesses grassroots power across America, fosters bipartisan consensus here in Washington, and – most vitally – drives real-world, policy-based solutions to protect Christians and preserve religious and ethnic diversity throughout the Middle East," ANCA chairman Raffi Hamparian said.

In addition, Hamparian expressed appreciation for the support of U.S. Congressman Chris Smith for human rights and religious freedom. He said Smith will be given the Cedars of God award, as he has consistently been rated "A" by ANCA.

IDC senior policy adviser Andrew Doran told reporters last month that they would highlight the suffering of Middle East Christians during the summit in a bid to spur the U.S. to exert more effort in protecting the religious minority. He pointed to instability, terror attacks targeting churches, genocide, and lack of supply in basic needs as among the challenges that believers and other ancient minority groups in the region are facing, Crux reported.

Doran said the task of protecting Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East is a lot bigger than the Islamic State. He also said this predicament was not going to go away in the next few decades. He added that they would discuss ways to ensure that emergency relief reaches genocide victims in Syria and Iraq.