Philos Project Unveils Abraham's Missing Child Initiative

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT

Year-long project aims to leverage recent developments in the Near East to strengthen and protect indigenous Eastern Christians

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Philos Project officially announced its Abraham's Missing Child Initiative, a groundbreaking project that aims to leverage recent developments in the Near East to strengthen and protect indigenous Christians by promoting religious pluralism.

The Philos Project seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Near East by creating...
The Philos Project seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Near East by creating leaders, building community, and taking action in the spirit of the Hebraic Tradition.(PRNewswire)

"Though the Near East is the cradle of Christianity, its indigenous Christian communities have dwindled dramatically, increasingly so over the last few decades," said Robert Nicholson, President of The Philos Project.

"But recent events in the Near East—the Abraham Accords, the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, and internal reforms—are nudging the region toward a more pluralistic future. With the Abraham's Missing Child Initiative, we aspire to capitalize on this moment to develop practical recommendations to protect and strengthen indigenous Christian communities."

Nicholson announced the initiative at an event in Washington, D.C., along with several Philos scholars, including Amb Alberto Fernandez, Khalil Sayegh, and Hadeel Oueis. They were joined by Omar Al Busaidy and Endy Zemenides.

Nicholson later joined a panel discussion with noted religious freedom scholars on the underlying issues that necessitated the initiative, as well as challenges that have plagued previous approaches. The panel included Jonathan Schanzer (FDD), Elizabeth H. Prodromou (Atlantic Council), and Sam Tadros, (Hudson Institute).  Visit our Youtube page to see the full video.

The Abraham's Missing Child Initiative will feature three summits for Near Eastern Christian leaders to meet and dialogue with regional counterparts. At the summits, leaders will discuss ways to build on positive developments in the region to secure both safety and a seat at the table for Near Eastern Christians.

Leaders from the region are already weighing in to express their support:

"This is a profound step towards furthering peace and coexistence. Christianity along with Islam and Judaism are the monotheistic pillars that have dominated this region since their inception. The Christian community has and continues to be an integral part of this region for over two thousand years, and the Abrahamic table seats Christians, Jews and Muslims on equal footing, working towards the betterment of our shared humanity." - Noura Bint Mohammad Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture & Youth of the United Arab Emirates

"It's encouraging to see an innovative new approach to promoting pluralism in the Mediterranean and the Near East.  All of us in Greece understand well the word philos; Greece supports any effort to strengthen ties of friendship between Christians, Muslims, and Jews." -Alexandra Papadopoulou, Greek Ambassador to the U.S.

"The Philos Project's resolve shown in building regional alliances to strengthen the resilience of indigenous Christian communities is in line with Kingdom of Bahrain's long-standing commitment to nurture peaceful coexistence between all religions and people, at home and abroad." - H.E. Shaikh Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Bahraini Ambassador to the U.S.

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