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ICC Note: As Christian leaders looked at their congregations in the Middle East at the start of a new year, they are concerned that the violence of 2014 has claimed hope as one of its many victims. There is a growing sense that unless something dramatic changes, Christians will continue to be driven out of their homelands and ultimately out of the region that was the birthplace of Christianity.

12/31/2014 Middle East (Christian Today) More must be done in 2015 to combat the “suffering, destruction and devastation” of ancient Christian and other communities in the Middle East, according to a leading bishop from the region.

Bishop Angaelos, leader of the UK’s Coptic Orthodox Church, warns that it is becoming “increasingly difficult” to give hope to those suffering gross violations of their human rights.

He says in his New Year message that much has been done to help already, but it still went nowhere near far enough.

Describing 2014 as a “challenging year” in which some of those trying to help had paid the ultimate price, he described the “extremist narrative” seeking the destruction of centuries-old communities.

Religious leaders had shown a greater sense of responsibility and commitment in speaking out against the human rights violations. “This response however, is still disproportionate to the suffering, destruction and devastation that has been experienced, and much remains to be done,” he said.

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