The global community should develop effective mechanisms for the protection and support of Christianity, the Russian Orthodox Church believes, since  it looks like the second persecution of Christians is happening in the world today.

According to the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, 75% of all religious persecution in the world is against Christians. If this trend keeps, Christianity will soon exist only in history books, believes the head of the Department of International Religious Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk.

“At present about 100mln Christians are persecuted in many countries. It is obvious that Christians are becoming the most persecuted religious community in the world.”

The most difficult situation is in the countries of the Middle East. Thus, Metropolitan Ilarion says, a Coptic Christian church was burnt down in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on the 1st of January 2011. In March there were armed brawls between Muslims and Christians in several Egyptian cities, Cairo included. A similar situation exists in Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. However, we should not blame Islam for the escalation of tension, the Russian priest says.

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