More than 175 American Christian leaders have signed a pledge of solidarity supporting persecuted Christians in other parts of the world.
Evangelical and Orthodox Christian leaders, including Catholic Cardinal Donal Wuerl, came together Wednesday morning at the nation's capital for the event. Signatories also include other civic society leaders.
Wuerl said the Church cannot be silent, especially while some of Christianity's oldest communities, such as those in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, are driven into exile or even extinction.
"I often ask how is it that things like this can happen? Who is it that there can be concentrated, continuous, persistent acts of violence directed against groups of people?" Wuerl said.
"The answer keeps coming up. It happens because of the silence around it,” he continued. “It takes place because so many others are simply silent."