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Hope and Tragedy in the Middle East

On 1st June The Catholic Union Charitable Trust invited two experts to speak to a group of over 100 about the current situation for Christians and other persecuted minorities in the Middle East at an event entitled ‘Martyrs and Exiles’
Gerard Russell, former British and UN diplomat and author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East, addressed the current situation of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, and observed how they have proved remarkably resilient over many periods of persecution.
He was followed by John Pontifex, from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) UK, who spoke about his recent visit to Aleppo and the return of Christians to the Nineveh Plains. He explained that work in Syria and Iraq now forms the main focus for ACN.
Both speakers saw some grounds for hope amongst the destruction and killings, described by many as genocide, but said that a massive international effort would be required before Christians and other minorities can again live and flourish in these parts of the Middle East

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