Christian Population Decreasing In Mideast Due To Balance Violation - Russian Metropolitan

Christian Population Decreasing in Mideast Due to Balance Violation - Russian Metropolitan

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th July, 2021) The number of Christians has significantly decreased in almost all countries in the middle East because the long-term balance between the religious communities was violated, Russian Orthodox Church External Relations Department head Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) said on Wednesday.

"We see that in many countries people suffer because of their faith. Especially troubling is the situation in the Middle East, where unfortunately in all countries the Christian population is decreasing - in some countries drastically, in some countries slowly," Hilarion said during the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington.

The Metropolitan linked the "rapid decrease" of the number of Christians in Syria with the emergence of extremists who took power in many regions of that country.

Similarly, the number of Christians in Iraq shrank by about 90 percent, he said.

"If 15 years ago there were 1.5 million of Christians in Iraq, now there are probably 150,000, if not less. Moreover, there is practically no Christian population left in Libya," he said.

Hilarion pointed out that violating the balance that existed between different religious communities became the major reason of such deterioration in the number of Christians. The balance was disturbed by the involvement of external powers and with promises that the democracy would be introduced, he said.

"But, in fact, there is no democracy in Iraq or in Libya. We see that the situation is very chaotic and Christians became the first victims of this dramatic situation," Hilarion added.