At a conference earlier this year, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York used forceful language in a speech about the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. Calling it an “international emergency,” Dolan said, “We cannot let it go. We are going to talk about Christians being beheaded, martyred, harassed, threatened. “In talking about it, we have got to be blunt, we have to call it what it is. We are talking about fanatical Islamic Christianophobic terrorism, and we should not be afraid to tag it as such.”

The message inspired Frank A. Orban III, an international attorney from Lancaster and a knight with the Order of Malta, Lancaster Hospitaller Region, to assemble a summit in Lancaster to address the concerns articulated by Dolan. “I wanted the Order of Malta, whose history was intimately connected with defending the Christian faith, to help convey to the larger Lancaster community … what is facing Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East,” Orban explained. The two-day summit, which is free and open to the public, begins Thursday at 7 p.m. at Eden Resort Inn with keynote speakers George Marlin, author of “Persecuted Christians: A 21st Century Tragedy,” and Mideastern Maronite Rite Bishop Gregory Mansour. MORE