It is tragic but undeniable that Archbishop Welby is correct. The words of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the 3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom in Washington, DC in December 2017 retain their wisdom and power:
All Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East are facing dire consequences due to the constant upheavals and disastrous war-making that have afflicted the region for a season of intolerable length.
As we declared in 2014 with our brother, His Holiness Pope Francis:
From this holy city of Jerusalem, we express our shared profound concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain full citizens of their homelands. In trust we turn to the almighty and merciful God in a prayer for peace in the Holy Land and in the Middle East in general. We especially pray for the Churches in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, which have suffered most grievously due to recent events. We encourage all parties regardless of their religious convictions to continue to work for reconciliation and for the just recognition of peoples’ rights. We are persuaded that it is not arms, but dialogue, pardon and reconciliation that are the only possible means to achieve peace.
Our appeal continues to this day, more urgent than ever.
“Christians on brink of extinction in Middle East, warns Archbishop of Canterbury,” by Camilla Tominey, Telegraph, December 1, 2018:
Christians who were the first founders of the church are on brink of “imminent extinction”, the Archbishop of Canterbury is warning.
Describing the “daily threat of murder” faced in the Middle East, the Most Reverend Justin Welby says Christians are experiencing “the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century”.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Archbishop Welby, the most senior clergyman in the Church of England, calls on the Government to take in more refugees.
It comes as figures have revealed just one in 400 Syrian refugees given asylum in the UK last year were Christians despite them being subjected to “horrendous persecution”….