By Leah Marieann Klett, The Gospel Herald.
In light of the rampant persecution of Christians around the world, Franklin Graham has announced that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church, will convene “The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians” later this year.
In a Facebook post shared on Wednesday morning, Graham, 64, drew attention to a recent Open Doors USA report, which revealed that beheadings, imprisonment and eviction from ancestral homelands made 2015 the worst year on record for the persecution of Christians.
Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, said that in light of these sobering statistics, his organization and the Russian Orthodox Church decided to hold “The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians” in Moscow, Russia, October 28-30, 2016.
“The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians will shed a global spotlight on this crisis,” he wrote. “We will bring delegates from around the world and will be able to join hands with people of other churches and denominations of the Christian faith to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and to hear firsthand reports of the suffering that is taking place. Will you pray with us for this historic summit?”
The evangelist noted that Moscow is a fitting and meaningful location to hold the summit, as no church in modern history has suffered more than the church in Russia. “In the years under Communist rule, virtually all of the priests, pastors, and church leaders in Russia were imprisoned or executed by the Communists, and their graves are on the outskirts of Moscow and throughout the country serving as a reminder,” he writes.