News from Europe

Archbishop warns Christians in Middle East facing ‘imminent extinction,’ ‘horrendous prosecution’

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is warning that Christians in the Middle East are facing “imminent extinction,” and a threat equal to the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century. Despite what is described as “horrendous persecution,” just one in 400 Syrian refugees (11 of the 4,832 Syrians who were resettled in the UK) granted asylum in the UK last year were Christian, The Telegraph reported

“Christians face daily the threat of violence, murder, intimidation, prejudice and poverty,” the archbishop wrote in the Telegraph.

“In the last few years, they have been slaughtered by so-called Islamic State, and in many countries they find themselves squeezed between the upper and lower millstones of pressure on them within society and of conflicts that afflict the region,” he stated.

“Many have left. Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. Many have been killed, enslaved and persecuted or forcibly converted. Even those who remain ask the question, ‘Why stay?’ The Christian population of Iraq, for instance, is less than half what it was in 2003 and their churches, houses and businesses have been damaged or destroyed. The Syrian Christian population has halved since 2010.

As a result, across the region Christian communities that were the foundation of the universal Church now face the threat of imminent extinction.”

“The Christians of the region are facing the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century,” he added. Even when Christians face no physical danger, tensions regions like Israel can make life difficult, the archbishop said.

He asked fellow Christians to “remember Christians in the Middle East and pray for them.”

Christians to should not have to choose between President Assad “under whom they were tolerated” and “the unimaginable horrors and threats of so-called Islamic State,” he said.

“We must support and help them in every way we can,” the Archbishop stated.

“Where they wish to leave, they will be refugees in need of asylum. Where, courageously and by the grace of God, they choose to remain, they need publicity and external, visible support.”

You can read the full story  at The Blaze.

Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

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