ADL Welcomes Joint Catholic-Orthodox Statement on the Persecution of Middle East Christians

New York, NY, December 4, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for their courageous statement regarding violence in Middle East against Christians and other minority groups.

The two leaders referred to the “terrible situation” of Christians in the region, and how this warrants “not only for our constant prayer, but also…an appropriate response on the part of the international community.”

“We hope that the words of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will strengthen the resolve of the international community to do everything within its power to protect these endangered communities,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We continue to call on various governments and religious leaders to take tangible steps to ensure their safety.”

Mr. Foxman added, “We deeply appreciate the pope’s outreach to Turkey’s chief rabbi Isak Haleva and his continued genuine efforts to enhance Catholic-Jewish relations.”

ADL previously expressed deep concern on the issue of vulnerable religious minorities in the Middle East, including Egyptian Coptic Christians and the fate of the Yazidis, and has called for decisive action from the international community on the murder, ethnic cleansing, and destruction of ancient communities and holy sites by extremists.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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