Prince Charles reveals his heartbreak at the ‘appalling atrocities’ and ‘soul destroying tragedy’ facing Christians persecuted across the Middle East
- The Prince of Wales visited Armenian Church in London today
- Charles addressed issues facing Christians in the Middle East
- He said Christianity is being ‘grotesquely and barbarously assaulted’
Published: 16:45, 19 November 2014 | Updated: 19:21, 19 November 2014
The Prince of Wales has spoken of his heartbreak at the ‘soul destroying tragedy’ facing Christians in the Middle East.
Prince Charles said Christianity is being ‘quite literally, grotesquely and barbarously assaulted’, particularly in Syria during the nearly four-year-long civil war.
The heir to the throne addressed the congregation of the St Yeghiche Armenian Church in South Kensington, London today.
Royal anger: The Prince of Wales said Christianity is being ‘quite literally, grotesquely and barbarously assaulted’ in the Middle East
He said: ‘We must all as Christians seek to do. For some time now I have been troubled by the appalling atrocities faced by Christians suffering in the Middle East… It is the most soul destroying tragedy.’
Prince Charles added that Armenian Christians had long lived peacefully with their neighbours.
The community have suffered as a target of Syria’s civil war and from the violent unrest in the wider region.
The Prince said: ‘It is heartbreaking to learn of the attacks on Christians and on Churches where they gather, such as the Church in Deir el Zour (Syria) earlier this year.’
The Prince finished his address by expressing his sympathies to the congregation for the ongoing attacks, saying: ‘They seem so hopelessly inadequate but please, please just know truly heart felt they are.’
Royal guest: The Prince of Wales visited the Diocese of the Armenian Church in the United Kingtom at the St Yeghiche Armenian Church in London
Prince Charles called atrocities committed against Christians in the Middle East, and in particular in Syria, a ‘soul destroying tragedy’
United: Avak Asadourian, the Armenian Archbishop of Iraq and The Prince of Wales listen at the St Yeghiche Armenian Church
During the service, Avak Asadourian, the Archbishop of Iraq, spoke of the problems facing Armenian Christians in the region from his own experiences.
‘Due to assaults Iraqi Christians are leaving the country of their forefathers. In 1980 there were 1.5 million, this is now down to 400,000 due to the encroachment of Isis,’ he said.
‘If political measures are not adopted very soon, then in the Middle East Christian manifestations will cease to exist in its own birthplace,’ he said.
While at the church, Charles also spoke with Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK, and doctor Armen Sarkissian, the Armenian ambassador.
Charles has existing ties with the Armenian community and has shown an interest in encouraging inter-faith dialogue over the years.
He visited Armenia in May 2013 and spoke with some of the country’s leading Christian figures.
In December last year Charles expressed concern about the challenges facing Christians in some Middle-Eastern nations in a visit to the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in Stevenage and the Syrian Orthodox Church in Acton.