Christian communities are being decimated in their traditional homelands across the Middle East. Subjected to persecution, rape and crucifixion by Islamic State terrorists, Church and state must step in to help before they are wiped out, according to George Carey.
Writing in the Sunday Express, the former principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, revealed that news programmes are full of place names describing modern-day violence – Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Egypt and Damascus. He wrote that Middle East Christians are in despair:
‘The Christians of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, though small in number, have taken some pride in their historic precedence in worldwide Christianity. They were the original churches before missionaries reached northern Europe. But they were conquered in the early Middle Ages by Muhammad and his armies, and Christians and Jewish people suffered discrimination and insecurity.
‘There are signs that this is the decade in which Christianity will be finally wiped out by emigration driven by persecution. The region will be poorer for their loss. In 1900 Christians made up 20% of the population of the Middle East. Now the figure is less than 5% In 1915 hundreds of thousands of Christians were murdered in the Armenian genocide by the Ottomans.’
Mr Carey went on to lament the lack of action ‘ from the hierarchies of any of the Western churches’. He called on Prime Minister David Cameron to step in after asking: ‘So surely the British government is doing something to help? Sadly not.’ Mr Carey wrote:
‘Prime Minister David Cameron has met his pledge to bring 1,000 Syrians from the UN camps before Christmas but in spite of repeated inquiries by journalists and others there is no information on whether any of these refugees include Christians or other oppressed minorities.
‘Surely, the most vulnerable refugees, the target group the Government is seeking to help, must include some of those who have been targeted for rape, torture, beheadings and enslavement by the jihadists?’
Mr Carey said the UK Government policy of taking refugees from the camps misses these minorities because they are `just too frightened to go into them`. He concluded:
‘If the British Government is to help minority communities it must find a way of including minorities from outside the camps. This will mean working with churches and Christian charities to identify and help vulnerable Christian communities.’
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