Armenian church head decries Christian persecution in the Middle East

Armenian church head decries Christian persecution in the Middle East –

The Daily Star, Beirut – Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia Aram I Keshishian deplored Tuesday the targeting of Christians by the region’s extremist groups and called for Lebanon to elect a new a president to safeguard the country from rampant violence.

“We welcome unrelenting efforts by officials to preserve Lebanon’s unity, and we reaffirm our faith in the role of the Lebanese Army in defending the nation, despite the enormous and painful sacrifices,” Keshishian told worshippers attending mass on Armenian Christmas.

“We also welcome the wise policy of Lebanese politicians in keeping Lebanon at a distance from regional upheavals,” Keshishian said, underscoring, however, the urgent and primary necessity of electing a president.

“Regardless of the obstacles and difficulties, it is just not permissible not to have a president in Lebanon,” Keshishian added.

The prelate also deplored the colossal dangers facing Christians, including Armenians, in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria.

“Despite the huge difficulties and atrocities confronting them, Christians are determined to stay in this Orient, and to remain faithful to their duties and attached to their rights,” Keshishian said in reference to the persecution of Christians at the hands of jihadi militants from ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

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