The heir to the British throne has warned that Christianity is beginning “to disappear” in its own birthplace after 2,000 years because of a wave of “organised persecution” across the Middle East.
At a Christmas reception for religious leaders in London Dec. 17, Prince Charles said the world is in danger of losing something “irreplaceably precious” with communities tracing their history back to the time of Jesus now under threat from fundamentalist Islamist militants, the Daily Telegraph reported.
He said he had become “deeply troubled” by the plight of those he described as his “brothers and sisters in Christ” and voiced personal dismay at seeing his work over the last 20 years to “build bridges and dispel ignorance” being deliberately destroyed by those attempting to exploit the Arab Spring for their own ends.
Joining the Prince of Wales at the event was Prince Ghazi of Jordan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols and the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Ephraim Mirvis.
The Prince urged Christians, Muslims and Jews to unite in “outrage” as he warned that the elimination of Christianity in much of the region in which it developed would be a “major blow to peace”.
“I have for some time now been deeply troubled by the growing difficulties faced by Christian communities in various parts of the Middle East,” he said.
“It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are increasingly being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.”
On the NET:
Full text of the Prince of Wales’ speech.