Moscow Patriarchate confirms world summit for persecuted Christians in October

The Russian Orthodox Church spokesman officially announces anticipated conference, organized with the Evangelical Bill Graham, who will bring a thousand delegates from 150 countries to Moscow. Large Catholic delegation expected.


Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian Orthodox Church and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) will organize a great Christian leaders summit in Moscow, October 28 to 30, whose theme will be persecution in the world. The meeting should bring about a thousand delegates from 150 countries to the Russian capital.

According to the spokesman of the Moscow Patriarchate, quoted by Interfax-Religion, "the reason to hold an event of this magnitude is the mass persecution, unprecedented in modern history, comparable to the persecution of Christians in the early centuries and mass repression by atheistic authorities in the twentieth century".

As first revealed to AsiaNews by the nuncio in Moscow, Msgr. Ivan Jurkovic, there shoould also be a large Catholic participation, with hundreds of delegates. The BGEA was founded by the preacher Bill Graham in the United States over 50 years ago. The current leader of the association is the famous preacher’s son, Franklin, who is also head of the charity Samaritan's Purse.

In the spring and summer of 2015, the Moscow Patriarchate and the two organizations have jointly implemented a project in southern Russia to help refugees from Ukraine and Eastern Europe. In this area, over 63,000 kits were distributed that included food, hygiene items, sheets, stationery for school and children's toys, reports Interfax. Franklin Graham is close to the head of the department for external relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion. (MA)