Hundreds of Religious Leaders to Affirm Rights of Religious Minorities and Respect for Muslims in United States

WASHINGTON – Ahead of the annual National Prayer Breakfast, international religious leaders from across the theological and political spectrum will make a unified commitment to concrete actions calling for respect of Muslims in the United States and affirming the rights of religious minorities around the world, including Christians in Muslim countries.

More than 300 leaders, including evangelical Christian Pastor Bob Roberts of NorthWood Church in Texas, former U.S. ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein and Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Virginia, will gather at the Washington Marriott Marquis, Feb. 5 -7, for the Alliance of Virtue conference to draft the “Washington Declaration.”

The declaration is expected to be signed in a ceremony at 9:30 am on Wednesday, Feb. 7 by a diverse group including Shia and Sunni, Evangelical and Jewish, Catholic and Mainline clergy and leaders from the United States, Europe and the Middle East.  A press conference with simultaneous translation will immediately follow.

The gathering leading up to the Washington Declaration is hosted by the Forum for Promoting Peace and H.E. Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, the forum’s president, who will address the religious leaders.

“Like many evangelicals in America, I am very much concerned about my fellow Christians around the world and their ability to safely practice their faith. At the same time, what is often lost in conversations about global religious freedom is that concern for my fellow Christians abroad must extend to Muslims at home,” said Roberts, who, along with Magid and Saperstein, is a convener of the American Peace Caravan, an effort to build relationships and foster collaboration among leaders of the three major Abrahamic faiths. “We are our brother’s keeper and we are called to do unto others as we would have them do to us. It is in the spirit of this call that is critical for all Christians, including my fellow evangelicals, to build relationships with people of other faiths and support efforts like the Washington Declaration.”

United by the shared values of the Abrahamic faith traditions, conference organizers hope to empower clergy and religious leaders to mobilize their congregations to take concrete steps in support of religious minorities both in the United States and around the world.

Media are invited to cover the declaration signing and participate in the press conference on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. RSVP is requested. For more information contact anna.tervahartiala@kua.fi.  

The Washington Declaration builds on the Marrakesh Declaration, signed January 27, 2016, by more than 350 Muslim scholars and leaders from more than 60 counties in the Muslim and Arab world. The Marrakesh Declaration affirmed the rights of religious minorities in Muslim majority countries.

What? Signing of the Washington Declaration, a unified statement affirming the rights of religious minorities and calling for respect of Muslims in the United States
Who? More than 300 international and U.S. based leaders, including:

  • Evangelical Christian Pastor Bob Roberts, founding pastor of the Northwood Church
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom
  • Imam Mohamed Magid, executive director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society

 

The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and FCA Americas are partners in the event.