The archbishop of Canterbury, the principal leader of the Church of England, spoke on told the BBC Sunday, "The plight of Christians in many parts of the Middle East has become more and more acute."
"As we approach Christmas, we need to pray for them and speak out for them," added Justin Welby.
He also wrote in the Telegraph, "Christians face daily the threat of violence, murder, intimidation, prejudice and poverty."
"In the last few years, they have been slaughtered by so-called Islamic State, and in many countries they find themselves squeezed between the upper and lower millstones of pressure on them within society and of conflicts that afflict the region," he continued.
"Many have left. Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. Many have been killed, enslaved and persecuted or forcibly converted. Even those who remain ask the question, 'Why stay?'"
"Across the region Christian communities that were the foundation of the universal Church now face the threat of imminent extinction," he concluded, saying we must support them.
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