This September, In Defense of Christians invites you to our inaugural National Leadership Convention to mobilize America for the Christians in the Middle East. Learn how to advocate in the United States Congress, build coalitions, establish local chapters, and raise awareness with leading artists, singers, and filmmakers. Then join us for our annual Solidarity Dinner on Friday, September 11th, and hear from members of Congress and religious leaders on the importance of America standing in solidarity with Christians in the Middle East.

About IDC

IDC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to ensure the protection and preservation of Christianity and Christian culture in the Middle East. We do this through: grassroots mobilization of Diaspora communities, in unity with concerned Christians of other denominations and other people of good will, on national and local levels; expanding global awareness of the ongoing plight of Christians in the Middle East through media and outreach; influencing national and international policy makers to act on their behalf through political advocacy; and encouraging humanitarian aid for suffering Christian communities in the Middle East.

Register for the Convention


Reserve your space at the 2015 National Leadership Convention

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11am – 1:30pm: Attendee Arrival and Registration (Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill)

1:30pm: Transportation from the Hyatt Regency to the National Press Club

2:15pm – 3:45pm: Press Conference: ISIS, Genocide and Response: Calling the International Community to Action (National Press Club)

Panel discussion with members of Congress and leading policy experts on the human rights crisis affecting minority groups targeted by ISIS. Open to press and public.
Speakers: Doug Bandow, Bob Destro, Kirsten Evans, Aram Hamparian, Johnnie Moore, Dr. Gregory Stanton, Katrina Lantos Swett, Frank Wolf.

4pm – 5pm: Policy Roundtable: “Can Religious Pluralism Survive in Iraq?” Policy Solutions for Protecting Christians and Other Minorities in the Nineveh Plain (National Press Club)

Conversation with members of Congress and leading experts on strategic responses to the human rights crisis in Iraq and Syria. Open to press and public.
Speakers: Andrew Doran, Bob Destro

7:30pm – 8:30pm: Ecumenical Prayer Service (St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill)

Representatives of  Eastern, Evangelical, Protestant, and Catholic denominations and rites in attendance at this special prayer event. Open to public.

Speakers: Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Mansour, Johnnie Moore, Stan Holmes, Bishop Madden

Representatives: Jeff Fortenberry, Adam Kinzinger, Mark Meadows, Joseph Pitts, Ted Poe, Keith Rothfus, David Trott, Randy Weber, Rob Wittman

10am – 11:15am: Members of Congress Speak About Initiatives for Christians in the Middle East (Capitol Building)

Hear from a bi-partisan group of Representatives and Senators about their efforts to mobilize Congress for Christians in the Middle East.

11:15am – 12:30pm: Experts Speak about Effective Advocacy in Congress (Capitol Building) 

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Luncheon with Members of Congress (Capitol Building): Be seated by states and welcome Members of Congress greeting their constituents. 

1:30pm – 4pm: Meetings with Congressional Offices

7pm – 10pm: Celebrating Christian Art and Culture from the Middle East (French Embassy)

Movie screenings, art exhibits, music, and presentations by leading diaspora artists. Book signing with national bestselling author.

10:30am – 12:30pm: Ecumenical Roundtable: Building Bridges between Eastern and Western Christianity (Hall of States Building)

Conversation with religious, political, and academic leaders on closing the culture gap between East and West. Open to press and public.

Tom Farr, Paul Heck, Stan Holmes, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff, Bishop Mansour, Johnnie Moore, Nermien Riad, Tim Shah

1pm – 4pm: IDC Chapter Building Workshop (Hall of States)

Hands-on workshop by regional teams for practical tools on coalition building, ecumenical outreach, advocacy, and chapter development.

6:30pm – 9:30pm: IDC Annual Solidarity Dinner: “Mobilizing America for Christians in the Middle East” (Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill)

Keynote speakers include Members of Congress, political leaders, American and Middle Eastern religious leaders.
His Beatitude Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Gregory Mansour, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Ambassador David Saperstein, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson

Hotel Info

Accomodations will be at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill for $179 a night, if reserved by Tuesday, August 25. To make a reservation, call and ask for the IDC Solidarity Dinner room block, or visit the link below:



Jordan Allott

Jordan Allott is a filmmaker and founder of In Altum Productions.

Carl Anderson

Carl Anderson is the supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.

Douglas Bako

Douglas Bako is an Assyrian Christian from Iraq, who was ranked the greatest vocal percussionist in the nation at the high-school level and whose music on YouTube received 3 million views.

Toufic Baaklini

Toufic Baaklini is a Lebanese-American with more than 30 years of business experience in finance and development. Mr. Baaklini has committed years of service to preserving the historic Christian communities of the Middle East.

Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in foreign policy and civil liberties.

Andrew Doran

Andrew Doran is an attorney and armed forces veteran, and served on the executive secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at the U.S. Department of State.

Robert Destro

Robert Destro is a Professor of Law in the School of Law at The Catholic university of America, and is the director and founder of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion.

Kirsten Evans

Kirsten Evans has diverse experience in the international, non-profit, and policy sectors and is the Executive Director of In Defense of Christians.

Tony Faddoul

Antoine Faddoul is a designer, artist, futurist, and storyteller whose approach combines elements of astronomy, natural sciences, architecture, archaeology, history, art, ancient mythology, and linguistics.

Tom Farr

Thomas Farr is director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Associate Professor of the Practice of Religion and World Affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry

Representative Jeff Fortenberry is the U.S. Representative for Nebraska’s 1st congressional district, serving since 2005.

Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

Paul Heck

Paul Heck is a professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University.

Stan Holmes

Stan Holmes is the President and CEO of Core Fellowship.

Ninar Keyrouz

Ninar has over a decade of experience in the field of media and communications, and has worked on location in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Dubai and Turkey.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Representative Adam Kinzinger is the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 16th congressional district, and has served since 2013.

Daniel Lombrozo

Originally from New York, Daniel Lombroso is a Washington, D.C.-based filmmaker and journalist who directed films in the US, Canada, Israel, and Turkey.

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez is the former editor and current editor-at-large of National Review Online, is also a Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Nabil Makar

Nabil Makar is an Egyptian Artist who has lived in the US for nearly 40 years and has long been a proponent of cross-cultural dialogue.

Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff

The Reverend Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff is Director General of the World Dialogue Network, and before that of the C-1 and Council of One Hundred Leaders West-Islamic Dialogue, launched when he was Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum.

Bishop Gregory John Mansour

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Gregory John Mansour, is the Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick is the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, and has visited many nations as a human rights advocate.

Rep. Mark Meadows

Representative Mark Meadows has been the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district since January 2013.

Johnnie Moore

Author of “Defying ISIS,” Johnnie Moore is a best-selling author and humanitarian who has worked with genocide victims in the Middle East, Bosnia and Rwanda.

Diana Odisho

Diana Odisho is an Assyrian-American spoken word artist who speaks out against the atrocities committed against the indigenous Assyrian people of ancient Mesopotamia.

Kristina Olney

Kristina Olney has served as the associate director for government relations at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and as a fellow on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and is now the director of government relations and outreach for In Defense of Christians.

Rep. Joseph Pitts

Representative Joseph Pitts is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district, serving since 1997.

Rep. Ted Poe

Representative Ted Poe is the U.S. Representative for Texas’ 2nd congressional district, serving since 2005.

Antoun Rezk

Antoun is an Egyptian American and Coptic Orthodox Christian whose art focuses on the Coptic Orthodox tradition, and mimicking the neo-Coptic tradition in particular.

Nermien Riad

Nermien Riad is the Executive Director of Coptic Orphans, which she founded in 1988 after a visit to Egypt, her childhood home.

Rep. Keith Rothfus

Keith Rothfus is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district, and has served since 2013.

Sargon Saadi

Sargon Saadi is an L.A. based Director who was born and raised in Syria.

Ambassador David Saperstein

David Saperstein is the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

Timothy Shah

Timothy Shah is associate director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Associate Professor of the Practice of Religion and Global Politics in the Government Department at Georgetown University.

Dr. Gregory Stanton

Dr. Stanton created Genocide Watch, the first international anti-genocide coalition, and has received degrees from Oberlin College, Harvard Divinity School, Yale Law School and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett established the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice in 2008 and serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer.

Rachel Sarah Thomas

Rachel Sarah Thomas is a third generation Assyrian-American, classically trained in vocal performance and currently performing as singer and songwriter KSRA.

David Trott

Representative David Trott is the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 11th congressional district.

Rep. Randy Weber

Representative Randy Weber is the U.S. Representative for Texas’ 14th congressional district, serving since 2013.

Rep. Rob Wittman

Representative Rob Wittman is the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 1st congressional district, serving since 2007.

Frank Wolf

Representative Frank Wolf was elected as a Republican to the Ninety-seventh and to the sixteen succeeding Congresses, and has been a vocal advocate for human rights.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington, DC and serves on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and for Culture.

His Beatitude Ignatius Youssef III YOUNAN, Patriarch of Antioch for Syriac Catholic Church

His Beatitude Ignatius Youssef III Younan is the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians for the Syriac Catholic Church.

Contact Us


Phone: 202-351-6195
Mailing Address: PO Box 75061, Washington, DC 20013
Conference Inquiries: nlc@indefenseofChristians.org
General Inquiries: info@indefenseofChristians.org
Press: press@indefenseofChristians.org