2015-11-10 19:22:00

Patriarch Kirill accuses West of indifference towards plight of Middle Eastern Christians

Moscow, November 10, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has strongly criticized western countries for having abandoned Middle Eastern Christians in distress.

"In Lebanon, I heard amazing accounts from representatives of the Christian communities which were traditionally linked to the West, that even the West has abandoned them and is not protecting even them, let alone the Christians with no traditional links to the West," the patriarch said at a meeting with one of the Syrian Christian leaders, Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, in Moscow on Tuesday.

The Russian Orthodox Church leader said he heard these accounts during his visit to Syria in 2011.

"Even back then, our Christian brothers spoke very openly that this war might have terrible consequences for the Christian population," he said.

"We know that for some other reasons and under other pretexts, whenever there is discrimination, the international community gets very excited and takes decisive resolutions and declarations, but nothing of that kind happened to protect the Middle Eastern Christians from extermination," the patriarch said.

He said he hopes that thanks to Russia's active involvement in the fight against international terrorism "there might be change for the better."

The Russian patriarch said he repeatedly raised the issue of protecting Middle Eastern Christians with Russian leaders.