Prince Charles has decried the extreme suffering inflicted upon the Christians in Syria targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but at the same time highlighted the glimmer of hope for their future with the expansion of the Syriac Church in Britain.
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Speaking during the consecration of a Syriac Orthodox Church in west London, Prince Charles expressed his hope that the Syrian Christians may receive the courage and faith they need to get through the "unbearable misery and anguish" inflicted upon them. For him, the consecration ceremony performed at the Cathedral of St. Thomas in Acton presented a "notable sign of hope for the future" despite the continuing civil war, Premier relays.
"It is surely deeply encouraging, at a time when the members of the Syriac Orthodox Church in their homelands of Syria and Iraq are undergoing such desperate trials and such appalling suffering, that in Britain the Syriac Church is able to expand and gain in strength," Prince Charles said.
During a speech at the Archbishop House in central London in December last year, the Prince of Wales warned that Christians are set to disappear from Iraq in five years amid the threat from ISIS. He also said protecting Christianity in the Middle East is the biggest challenge the world faces, the Express reports.
There are still around 250,000 Christians in Iraq, but 100,000 of them have already been displaced by the violence. Thousands of believers have also left Iraq and Syria to escape the bloody rampage of ISIS against those who do not pledge loyalty to the militant group.
To prevent the disappearance of Christianity from the face of Iraq, Prince Charles told UK-based clerics that "emergency help" must be dispatched. He said the imminent disaster will affect everyone and emphasized the importance of preserving the Christian heritage in the region for future generations.