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ICC Note: Prince Charles has again used his position as a leading figure in the United Kingdom to speak out on behalf of Christians and other religious minorities facing “horrendous and heartbreaking” persecution around the world. He particularly focused on the incidents in Iraq and Syria at the hand of brutal Islamic jihadists.

11/04/2014 Middle East (Catholic Herald) The Princes of Wales has spoken out about the “horrendous and heartbreaking” persecution of religious minorities around the world.

Prince Charles made the remarks about religious freedom in a recorded video message to the charity Aid to the Church in Need, which launched its Religious Freedom in the World Report – 2014 today.

In his message, played at the report’s launch at the House of Lords, the Prince said: “The horrendous and heart-breaking events in Iraq and Syria have brought the subject of religious freedom and persecution to the forefront of the world’s news. We have learnt with mounting despair of the expulsion of Christians, Muslims and Yazidis from towns and cities that their ancestors have occupied for centuries.

“Sadly, incidents of violence in Iraq and Syria are not isolated. They are found throughout some, though not all, of the Middle East; in some African nations; and in many countries across Asia.”

The Prince has become one of the most high-profile names to speak out about the persecution of Christians. Last December he held a reception in Clarence House in response “to the growing plight of Christians threatened by persecution in the Middle East. Having listened to their concerns, I did my best to highlight the gravity of the crisis.”

In September he wrote a letter to Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, stating that he was “heartbroken” by the situation in Iraq, and explaining that he had sent a cheque to Aid to the Church in Need to help their work in the Middle East. This winter the charity is launching its biggest ever drive to provide shelter, food and education to 120,000 displaced Iraqi Christians in the Kurdish-controlled north of the country.

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