Christians persecuted by Islamists, says Prince Charles -John McManus
The Prince of Wales made his comments after visiting the British branches of churches based in the region. The prince heard accounts of Christians being murdered and families forced from their homes. The upheavals of the Arab Spring have left many religious minorities vulnerable to accusation and attack.
Charles visited the Egyptian Coptic Church centre in Stevenage and the Syriac Orthodox cathedral in west London. The royals met church members who had either suffered intimidation or family members whose safety they feared for.
Later at a reception at Clarence House, attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi, Prince Charles said he felt deeply troubled by the plight of Christians.
Minority Muslims, such as Sufis, have also frequently been attacked by Islamists in South Asia as well as Arab countries.
The falling Christian population in the Middle East has led to concerns over the religion's survival in the region of its birth.
British Christians have urged the government and church leaders to do more to help their co-religionists.
Forced Exodus: Christians in the Middle East - Roland Flamini
The Christian population in the Middle East is shrinking at a faster rate than ever before, through emigration and wholesale killings, as well as a lower birthrate than its Muslim counterparts.
63% of Arab Americans are descended from Christian immigrants.
Christians Are Fair Game - Zvi Bar'el
According to Western estimates, about 45,000 Christians out of a total Christian population of about 2 million have fled Syria, and the pace is increasing.
In Iraq, out of a population that numbered about 1.2 million in the 1990s, only between 200,000 and 500,000 Christians remain in the country.