World leaders speak out for persecuted Christians
In their Christmas speeches to the world, the leaders of the UK and America have spoken out in defence of persecuted Christians and condemned terrorist groups who are responsible for so much suffering and bloodshed.
Queen Elizabeth II delivered her “most Christian message yet” during her annual Christmas speech to the Commonwealth of Nations, which focussed on her own personal Christian faith, which she had talked about frequently throughout her 60-plus year reign. It has often been commented that the Queen is “driven” by her faith, and in her Christmas message she was hoping to project a “fundamental optimism” in contrast to “the overall gloom.”
The major highlight of the Queen’s message was the “unprecedented” level of violence and persecution against Christians around the world throughout 2015, especially with the continued conquests of the Islamic State terror group throughout Iraq and Syria.
The queen’s message, which was aired on Christmas Day in the U.K. on BBC1 and ITV, reached out to a large audience of about 8 million viewers in the UK alone, plus millions of others worldwide throughout the Commonwealth.
The Queen’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, has close ties with ACN in the UK. He too has spoken out on a number of occasions about the grave threat Christians face in the Middle East, warning that Christianity may soon be entirely wiped out from the lands of its birth, saying: “In fact according to Aid to the Church in Need, which is a truly remarkable organization, Christianity is on course to disappear from Iraq within five years unless emergency help is provided on a greatly increased scale at an international level”
Prince Charles added: “Their suffering is symptomatic of a very real crisis which threatens the very existence of Christianity in the land of its birth. This affects us all, consequently the greatest challenge we face is how to ensure the spiritual and cultural heritage of Christianity in the Middle East is preserved for future generations.”
The American President, Barack Obama released a Christmas message expressing solidarity with believers who were being targeted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Mr Obama said he and fellow Americans were fortunate that they could celebrate Jesus’ birth in peace, though he was aware that many other Christians were unable to exercise their human right to worship God freely: “Michelle and I are also ever-mindful that many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right, and hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution”.
The President added he was praying for everyone fighting Islamic State, the main source of persecution against Christians in the Middle East: “We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations.”