“Religious freedom is a daily stark choice between life and death,” Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, said during a BBC Radio message.
Delivering BBC Radio 4’s “Thought for the Day”, the Prince spoke of “increasingly aggressive” attitudes towards refugees fleeing Islamic State, “which aims to eliminate all types of religious diversity.”
Prince Charles is said to have been deeply affected by a report released last month by the NGO Aid to the Church in Need, which warned that Islamic extremists were involved in “systematic attempts to annihilate” Christians and other groups.
Quoting a “graphic account” made by a Syrian Jesuit priest, Prince Charles warned that “it would be possible it could be no Christians in Iraq within five years”
He said: “Normally at Christmas we think of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder though if this year we might remember how the story of the Nativity unfolds, with the fleeing of the Holy Family to escape violent persecution.”
The Prince of Wales has showed interest for spiritual topics since many years. Earlier this month, he attended the consecration of the new Syriac cathedral in London.