Moscow, July 31, 2016
This autumn Russia will hold the second conference on defense of Christians in the world, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in his interview for the website of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), reports the TASS news agency.
“In addition to demonstrating by our personal example of the importance of establishing good relations between different faiths, it is also vital to hold special events,” the minister said. “Let us be honest; today Christians in the Middle East region are suffering very serious persecutions, especially in Syria and Iraq. In these countries their number has dwindled dramatically.”
In his view, the exodus of Christians from the region that is the cradle of Christianity “would be, beyond all doubt, an enormous tragedy in the history—for the spiritual side of the Holy Land as well as the whole of the Middle East.” “And so, together with IOPS, our government bodies, we are actively using world organizations in order to call attention to this daunting problem,” S. Lavrov added.
The Russian Federation’s Foreign Minister noted that one and a half years ago, “we held the first conference in defense of Christians” in Geneva (Switzerland) together with representatives of the Vatican and our colleagues from Lebanon and Armenia. “We are currently preparing the second conference, which will be a large-scale one,” he said. “It is scheduled for autumn 2016. We are convinced that the participation of IOPS in its work will make it more effective”.