Washington -- For the first time in history, five Christian Patriarchs representing Christian communities in the Middle East visited the White House to discuss the protection of Christians in the Middle East with President Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
In Defense of Christians President Toufic Baaklini said, "We want to thank President Obama at this critical moment in history for meeting with the representatives of these Christian communities from the Middle East who face suffering and hardship for professing their religious beliefs."
Attending the meeting with the President were:
- His Eminence, Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
- His Beatitude, Gregorius III Laham, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem
- His Beatitude, Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
- His Beatitude, Ignatius Youssef III Yonan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
- His Beatitude, Aram I Keshishian, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church
- His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joseph Al-Zehlaoui, Archbishop of New York and All North America of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church (Official representative of His Beatitude Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East)
- His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria (Official representative of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of
- St. Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria)
- His Excellency Ibrahim, Ibrahim Bishop Emeritus of Chaldean Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle (Official representative of His Beatitude Louis Rahphael Sako I, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church)