Britain’s Prince of Wales has spoken out on national radio in an appeal for persecuted Christians and minorities across the world, but the Royal also moved to criticise “populist groups”.
Speaking on Thought for the Day, a short early morning slot on BBC Radio 4 dedicated to faith issues, the son of Britain’s reigning Monarch urged listeners to think of persecuted religious figures — singling out Jesus Christ and Muhammad — this Christmas. He said:
Normally at Christmas we think of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder though if this year we might remember how the story of the nativity unfolds, with the fleeing of the holy family to escape violent persecution. And we might also remember that when the prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina he was seeking the freedom for himself and his followers to worship.
Whichever religious path we follow, the destination is the same – to value and respect the other person, accepting their right to live out their peaceful response to the love of God.
The future King spent much of his short radio appearance discussing the persecution of Christians without going so far as to name the main source of this persecution — radical Islam. Referring to “insidious forms of extremism… which aim to eliminate all types of religious diversity”, the Prince also mentioned the Yazidis who are coming under extreme persecution from Islamic State, Jews who have been leaving Europe in record numbers to escape Islamist persecution, and the Muslim Ahmadis who are treated as apostates by many mainstream Muslims.
Speaking of his recent interactions with persecuted Christians, Prince Charles said:
In London recently I met a Jesuit protest from Syria…. He told me of mass kidnappings in parts of Syria and Iraq and how he feared that Christians would be driven en masse from the lands described in the Bible. He thought it quite possible there would be no Christians in Iraq in five years.
While he was speaking to promote the receiving of asylum seekers into Europe, the Prince also criticised what he called “populist” movements. Britain’s Guardian newspaper claimed of the comments: “His address will be seen by some as a veiled reference to the election of Donald Trump in the US, the rise of the far right in Europe, and increasingly hostile attitudes to refugees in the UK”.
The Prince said, implying a relationship between Europe’s growing pro-borders movement with European Fascism of the last century:
We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive towards those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s.
I was born in 1948, just after the end of World War Two, in which my parents’ generation had fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and an inhuman attempt to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.
That nearly 70 years later we should still be seeing such evil persecution is, to me, beyond all belief. We owe it to those who suffered and died so horribly not to repeat the horrors of the past.
Breitbart London has reported at length on the worsening conditions in Europe for Jewish citizens, who have complained conditions for them in Europe are now as bad as the 1930s thanks to radical Islamic immigration. Speaking at a Jewish Congress in the United States, Danish Jewish leader Dan Asmussen said Danish society “itself is not and has never been anti-Semitic and many of the threats facing Danish Jewry – like in the rest of Europe – come from marginalized and radicalized Muslims, and these form a small minority of all Muslims in Denmark”.