Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moscow Patriarchate: Appeal to the West, to Protect Persecuted Christians

Metropolitan Hilarion: "Measures could be taken reduced to a simple formula: economic and other help should only be given in exchange for guaranteed security for religious minorities."

Moscow ( The Russian Orthodox Church has appealed to all Democratic Nations to develop an effective system of protection for persecuted Christian minorities, reports Russian news agency 'Interfax'.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfejew), the director of the foreign office of the Moscow Patriarchate, said for journalists at the Russian Capitol: "The European Parliament has stressed in a resolution of the 20th of January, special measures to influence those lands in which Christians are persecuted.

I think that these measures can be reduced to a short formula: economic and other assistance should only be given in exchange for guarantees for the security of religious minorities."

The Metropolitan cited data of international organizations: every five minutes somewhere in the world a Christian is killed for his Faith, every year there are an estimated 105.000 victims, and 75 percent of all those who are persecuted because of their convictions are Christians.

The director of the foreign ministry of the Moscow Patriarchate referenced, related to a study by the Commission of the Bishops Conference of the EU-Area (ComECE), according to which 170.000 Christians throughout the world must suffer for their Faith. The human rights organization "Open Doors" even estimates the number as high as a Million persecuted Christians.

"We must see an evident fact: Christians are the most persecuted group worldwide", said the Metropolitan. Many researchers are beginning to compare the intensity of the persecution of Christians at the beginning of the third millennium with the first centuries of Christianity.

The Metropolitan identified countries with especially intense persecution as, Afghanistan, Iran, the Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq as well as North Korea. In the respect of Iraq he recalled that earlier there were 1,5 Million Christians in the country before the fall of Saddam Hussein of which more than half have been displaced or fled the country.

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