2013-11-27 14:29:00

Patriarch Kirill expressed concerns about exodus by Christians from Iraq

Moscow, November 27, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has expressed concerns about the exodus of Christians from Iraq.

"We know that Christian communities have been subjected to violence. Very many people were killed just for being Christians. Many people have left Iraq under the threat of death. That, of course, changed the cultural landscape of your country. We believe it is in a way a catastrophe for civilization because Christians and Muslims have always lived in peace on the territory of your country," the patriarch said during a meeting with Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Ismail Shafiq Muhsin.

The patriarch said 1.5 million Christians lived in Iraq before the war began there, the communications service of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations has reported.

"We are deeply convinced that Iraq should remain a unified state, civil accord should be restored there, and there should be no outside influence because Iraq is a country with great cultural traditions, which truly dates back to the dawn of human civilization," the patriarch said.