Honors College Will Host Panel on Worldwide Religious Persecution

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Oct. 3, 2014

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Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (Oct. 3, 2014) – The Baylor Honors College will host a panel to discuss worldwide religious persecution at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in the Alexander Reading Room.

Panelists include Rabbi Gordon Fuller of Waco’s Agudath Jacob Synagogue, Father Timothy Vaverek of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Gatesville, Texas, and Anne Zaki, from Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt.

Research shows that 200 million Christians worldwide face some form of religious persecution, and in some countries like Iraq and Syria, Christians have been decimated.

“If the panel succeeds in even a small way, it will inform us of facts that no thoughtful citizen should neglect,” said Douglas Henry, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy in the Honors College.

“More ambitiously, the panel promises to form our hearts and minds so we understand with humility, respond with compassion and advocate on behalf of the despairing and the dying.”

“Most difficult of all, it may give us a sense of what it means in our time ‘to love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’”

Baylor University has had longstanding relationships with Fuller and Timothy, and Henry called Zaki a “new friend.” She will be visiting campus to speak in university chapel on Wednesday, and he said the timing was just right to include her on the panel as well.

“Our panelists are bound to challenge the ease with which we fall into apathy, self-preoccupation and neglect of others whose needs are dire. We need to be reminded of the difficult realities that many face,” Henry said.

David Garland, interim provost of Baylor University, will moderate the discussion. Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr will give special remarks.

Alexander Reading Room is located in Alexander Hall on the Baylor campus, 1413 S. Seventh St. The panel discussion is free and open to the public. For more information, call Petra Carey in the Honors College at (254) 710-1523.

by Kristen Bennett, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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