2014-11-11 18:10:00

Syrian conflict a menace for Christian population in Middle East - Russian diplomat

Moscow, November 11, Interfax - The current escalation of the Syrian conflict could lead to the utter disappearance of Christians from the Middle East, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

"As the Syrian conflict is picking up pace, more reasons are emerging to fear for the future of the Christians' 2000-year long presence in the region," Bogdanov told the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society on Tuesday.

"This live, centuries-old tradition is under the threat of utter disappearance," the Russian diplomat said.

Bogdanov also said that air strikes on the Islamists' positions in Syria may have a disastrous effect on the Christian population of that country.

"The missile and bomb strikes being dealt by the United States' allies on the Islamists' positions, especially in Syria, occur bypassing the UN Security Council and without the consent of the legitimate government in Damascus, all of which may lead to hard consequences for the Christian population," he said.

"The tragic situation the Christians have found themselves in the Middle East is causing the most serious and growing concern in Russia," Bogdanov said.

The population of Christians may shrink dramatically in this region at best, as in Iraq in 2003, he said.