Christians at risk, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Prince Charles

Prince Charles greets the Chief Rabbi at Clarence House (Photo: Paul Burns)

Prince Charles greets the Chief Rabbi at Clarence House (Photo: Paul Burns)

The chief rabbi has joined Prince Charles in voicing grave concern over the persecution of Christian communities Middle East countries.

The Prince told a gathering of religious leaders in London this week that the situation had reached “crisis point”.

He said: “I have for some time now been deeply troubled by the growing difficulties faced by Christian communities in various parts of the Middle East.

“It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians are increasingly being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.”

He added that the bridges between Muslims and Christians were being destroyed through a combination of “intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution”.

The situation was particularly severe in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Palestinian territories, he believed.

Prince Charles was speaking at a special reception for Middle East Christians at his official London residence, Clarence House, with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis among those in attendance.

Rabbi Mirvis said: “Prejudice against minority religious groups, wherever this takes place, is unacceptable.

“The Prince of Wales is to be commended for bringing different faiths together in recognition of the challenges faced by many Christian communities throughout the Middle East.”

Israeli ambassador, Daniel Taub, who was also at the reception, said Israel shared the Prince’s “deep concern”.

He added: “Sadly, Israel is the only country in the region where the Christian population is growing, and I am thankful to Prince Charles for drawing attention to this important issue.”

Prince Charles reserved special praise for his royal counterpart, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, who serves as personal envoy and special advisor to King Abdullah, Jordan’s head of state.

He described the envoy as “a noted Islamic scholar” who supported Christians throughout the world.

The Prince concluded by saying that the Christmas period was the ideal time to remember the moral principles which bind the three Abrahamic faiths — Christianity, Judaism and Islam — together and to, “express outrage at what tears us asunder”.

Last updated: 8:45pm, December 19 2013