Moscow, December 23, 2020
Christian churches and organizations should join in an alliance to more effectively work to protect African Christians who face severe persecution in many countries, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk said at a conference yesterday.
Opening the conference, “On the Situation of Christians in Africa,” the Chairman of the Russian Church’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), noted that Christians in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Somalia. Kenya, Algeria, and other countries currently face especially severe persecution. The Russian Orthodox Church sees the support of these suffering Christians as part of its historical mission, Met. Hilarion said, reports the press service of the DECR.
While Christians in Africa are persecuted and killed on practically a daily basis, African Christianity is also the fastest growing in the world. Nevertheless, Christians must unite to prevent terrorism from curbing this positive trend, Met. Hilarion said.
“The main goal of this conference is to consolidate the efforts of Christian denominations and international organizations that support African Christians,” Met. Hilarion stressed. To this end, on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, he called on “all interested forces, first of all, Christian Churches and organizations, to join the alliance” to help persecuted Christians “in coordination with local church communities.”
“We must regularly exchange information about what is happening and, above all, create conditions for the voice of suffering Christians in Africa to be heard. At the same time, we need to think about how to combine our efforts in implementing joint humanitarian initiatives on the African continent,” the Metropolitan explained.
His Eminence noted that, thanks to outside Christian help, some degree of normalcy is returning to the life of Syrian Christians, with infrastructure, schools, churches, and monasteries being restored.
The conference also included presentations from clergy from a number of Christian denominations and representatives of international organizations, all of whom supported Met. Hilarion’s call and offered their own experiences with and perspectives on Christian persecution in Africa.
In October, OrthoChristian reported on the Russian Church raising awareness about the persecution of Christians in Ethiopia.