Leaders of Britain’s Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and Pentecostal churches meeting at The Raynors, Harrow, Middlesex on Monday 27 November 2017 reaffirmed their commitment to stand in solidarity with Christians suffering persecution, including martyrdom, in our world.
Stories of atrocities and suffering met by love and non-retaliation, of tragedies met by deep spiritual resolve were shared concerning the Middle East, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. In response the leaders encouraged Christians everywhere to:
- Keeping the matter of The Persecuted Church alive
Speaking after the meeting the three conveyors, Bishop Angaelos, Pastor Agu Iruwku and The Rt Revd Maxim Nikolsky responded:
‘The second meeting of our Orthodox-Pentecostal Forum was a good opportunity to discuss our relationships here in Britain and how they can impact our surrounding communities. It was also a time to share news and experiences of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world and see how we can best collaborate to support them’ (Bishop Angaelos, CTE President for Orthodox churches).
Pastor Agu Irukwu, CTE President for Pentecostal churches said, ‘This was certainly a historic meeting as representatives of the leaders of the Orthodox and Pentecostal churches in the UK came together. Amongst other things, we deliberated on The Persecuted Church and the role we should play in praying and speaking up for them. We also discussed ways of supporting churches and organisations that are actively working with our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith around the world. We committed to ensuring that this message of solidarity is communicated throughout the churches that we represent and that we can all work together to be there for our brothers and sisters who are suffering simply for loving the Jesus we love.’
The Rt Revd Nikolski said, ‘This was the second meeting of its kind today between Orthodox and Pentecostal churches in which we shared common concern and pain regarding the oppression and persecution of Christians throughout the world. The killing, torture and exile of thousands of believers in Our Lord Jesus Christ stirred the meeting to consider what action, as well as prayer, we should take. We all must take on the responsibility of helping victims of this tragedy and do all we can to prevent further persecution.’
Orthodox and Pentecostal leaders will continue to raise awareness and encourage action throughout the churches and beyond, and to continue to meet jointly in the years to come.
News release published by Churches Together in England (CTE): www.cte.org.uk