Ravi Zacharias to Address World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington, D.C.

Ravi Zacharias will address the first-ever World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 12, on the topic "Living in the World, But Not of It."

The summit is hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and participants include a broad array of Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox leaders. Over 600 victims and advocates from 130 countries are gathering to help raise global awareness about the plight of persecuted Christians and show solidarity with those who suffer because of their faith. Other speakers include Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Michael Nasir-Ali, and Rev. Sami Dagher.

Open Doors identified 2016 as the worst year for the persecution of Christians since it began tracking the issue 25 years ago, and reports about 215 million Christians experience "high, very high or extreme persecution" in the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

"It seems that every week we learn of yet another example from somewhere around the globe that shows how critically we need to have this World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians," said Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse. "We want this event to shed a global spotlight on this crisis and help reverse this alarming trend."

Graham says the summit will provide a platform for firsthand stories of persecution to be heard, collected and documented. The summit's goals also include connecting victims, advocates, leaders and influencers to create partnerships that can help bring about change—while encouraging and praying for those who have faced beatings, torture, imprisonment, rape and even death because of their Christian faith.

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