Prince Charles has spoken out about what he coined the “soul destroying tragedy” of Christian persecution at the hands of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq.
The Prince of Wales, who addressed the congregation of the St. Yeghiche Armenian Church in South Kensington, London on Wednesday, showed his heartfelt sorrow as he condemned the treatment of Christians in the Middle East, suggesting that Christianity itself was “quite literally, grotesquely and barbarously assaulted,” by ISIS.
The Prince spoke about the fact that Armenian Christians had always lived in peace, side-by-side with their neighbors.
“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,” he said.
Prince Charles appeared heartbroken at the plight of Christians in Syria and Iraq, as well as Armenian Christians, continuing, “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.”
Following the Prince’s address, Avak Asadourian, the Archbishop of Iraq, spoke of the problems facing Armenian Christians in the region from his own personal 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. If political measures are not adopted very soon, then in the Middle East Christian manifestations will cease to exist in its own birthplace.”
During his visit to the church, Prince Charles also spoke with Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK, and doctor Armen Sarkissian, the Armenian ambassador. He even visited Armenia in May, 2013, and met with some of the country’s Christian leaders.