Published: Fri, 04 October 2013
Sean Kelly MEP has voiced serious concerns for the plight of Christians living in war-torn regions of the Middle East and across the Muslim world, following a series of horrific, targeted attacks.
Speaking at a European Parliament seminar on the persecution of Christians, Mr Kelly said:
“September was an especially tragic month for Christians across the Muslim world. On one weekend (22nd), 78 Christians were killed by twin suicide bombers at a church in Pakistan, according to news reports.
“That attack coincided with the Kenyan shopping mall attack, during which a gang of Islamic militants from Somalia murdered at least 68 workers and shoppers. Those terrorists were reportedly seeking to kill Christians specifically.
“The bloody civil war in Syria has resulted in a shocking death toll of around 100,000 men, women and children – of all faiths. The chemical weapons attack was particularly devastating.
“Syrian Christians have seen beloved churches and Christian symbols destroyed and many Christians have died in attacks directly aimed on their communities such as in Homs.”
The Fine Gael MEP noted that this week brought further reports of jihadist Syrian rebels attacking the historic Christian town of Saidnaya.
“It is believed that several hundred thousand Syrian Christians have already fled their home country, going to places like Lebanon. In Egypt, Coptic Christians have also suffered attacks at the hands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and many are choosing to leave, if they can.”
Mr Kelly has joined his colleagues in the EPP Group (Christian Democrats) in condemning any form of religious persecution, having raised this matter at EU level on several occasions in the past.
“I have requested that the EU High Commissioner on Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton, examines this situation urgently and makes recommendations to Parliament on how the EU can help stop the persecution of Christians around the world,” Mr Kelly concluded.