Bishop Gregory Cameron, the Bishop of St Asaph in North East Wales, showed his support for persecuted Christians in the Middle East last week, by signing the Hope for the Middle East petition.
The petition, launched by Open Doors, calls upon the government and the United Nations to ensure that Christians and other minorities enjoy the right to equal citizenship, dignified living conditions and a prominent role in reconciling and rebuilding society.
“Christians are under threat of persecution and death among the very nations who were first to receive the Gospel. They both deserve and welcome our unreserved support and prayers.” said Bishop Cameron. “Open Doors informs us accurately of their witness and present day martyrdom, as well as giving a route to offer practical support and help. I urge every Christian in the West to embrace our sisters and brothers in Christ, and to demonstrate clearly that they are not forgotten.”
Bishop Gregory Cameron endorsed the campaign to his diocese at their annual conference held at St Joseph’s Catholic and Anglican High School in Wrexham on Saturday 7 October. He used the conference as an opportunity to ask his diocese to follow his lead and raise support for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. As a result over 200 vicars were inspired to take the petition back to their churches, where it is hoped that many more people will join in signing their support for persecuted Christians.
Bishop Gregory Cameron signs the petition with the Bishops’ Advisor for Church and Society, Carol Wardman and Eddie Lyle, President of Open Doors UK and Ireland.
Open Doors has launched Hope for the Middle East, a seven year campaign uniting the global church to ensure every person in the Middle East, no matter what their faith, has a home, a future and a voice. As part of this, Open Doors is asking people to sign the Hope for the Middle East petition, which will be presented to the UN on 11 December 2017.
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Open Doors UK & Ireland is part of Open Doors International, a global NGO network which has supported and strengthened persecuted Christians in over 60 countries for over 60 years. Last year it raised approximately $70 million to provide practical support to persecuted Christians such as food, medicines, trauma care, legal assistance, safe houses and schools, as well as spiritual support through Christian literature, training and resources. Open Doors UK & Ireland raised over £11 million.
Every year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List – a ranking of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. This is produced using detailed information provided by Open Doors co-workers in more than 60 countries, as well as independent experts. Data is gathered on five spheres of life - private, family, community, national and church life – plus a sixth sphere measuring the degree of violence impacting Christians. Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system. Open Doors' research methods and results have been independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom. The 2017 World Watch List accounts for the 12 months ending 31 October 2016.