Beginning his talk by describing the remarkable global expansion of Christianity world over the last century, Bishop Nazir-Ali highlighted astonishing growth in Africa and Asia, before turning to an analysis of the beliefs and ideologies that had led to the global persecution of Christians. Speaking in particular of Islamic militancy, Bishop Nazir-Ali said that extremism could not simply be explained away with reference to social and economic factors alone, and disagreed with those who believe that “a truly Islamic state would not persecute Christians.” Bishop Nazir-Ali said this view romanticized Islamic militancy, and was belied by the evidence.
Calling for a more generous asylum policy for the victims of the Islamic State group, he said that even such a step would not solve the problem of the persecutions faced by Christians in Iraq. Echoing recent comments by the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, he insisted that an international force should be deployed to protect Iraq’s beleaguered minorities, saying that, “it would be a great tragedy if the entire Christian community were to be exiled in the way that the militants want.”
Greg Dalycovers the U.K. and Ireland for Aleteia.