Rep. Schock to Middle Eastern Christian Leaders: ‘In This Land You’re in the Majority’

By Penny Starr | September 10, 2014 | 4:05 PM EDT

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) spoke at the In Defense of Christians summit's event on Capitol Hill on Sept. 10, 2014 about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. ( Starr)

( – Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) told religious leaders from Christian churches in the Middle East on Wednesday that while they are in the United States, they belong to the majority of Americans who share their faith.

“You may be a minority as believers in certain parts of the world, but today you’re in Washington, D.C.,” Schock said. “Today, you’re in the United States of America, and in this land you’re in the majority.”

Schock was one of 17 members of Congress, including five Democrats, who spoke to five patriarchs of Middle Eastern Christian churches and other religious leaders and religious liberty advocates on the In Defense of Christians summit’s Capitol Hill event.

Schock began his remarks by confessing his Christian faith.

“First let me begin by saying I believe, as you do, in God the Father, the almighty, and his only son, Jesus Christ,” Schock said.

The congressman went on to describe the atrocities being committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against Christians in those two countries.

“Those who profess Christ today are suffering unspeakably,” Schock said. “They are being burned, crucified and beheaded.”

And Schock, who is 33 and serving his third term in the House, laid out the role he thinks the United States should play to end that persecution by defeating ISIS.

“I would submit to you that the greatest friend to human rights and religious freedom on earth remains the United States of America,” Schock said, garnering a round of applause from the large crowd in the congressional auditorium.

“While we must extend the hand of peace, we cannot wave the flag of surrender,” Schock said. “The United States must stand as the defender of freedom, as an arbiter of peace, and the most formidable enemy of terror the world has ever known.

“I join you today in a sincere prayer for peace,” Schock said. “And I pledge to you my willingness to fight for it in Congress and around the world as God gives me the strength to do so.”

Speaking at the event were Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich). Also speaking at the event were Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.).

Andrew Doran, executive director of IDC, told that there have been discussions with the Obama administration about meeting with the church leaders but that no meetings have been arranged yet.

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