Most Reverend Justin Welby said that Christians are facing “the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century”, explaining how many in the Middle East are living in fear to practise their religion.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Archbishop Welby warned how thousands of Christians have fled their homes, have been killed, enslaved, or forced to convert from Christianity.
He wrote: “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?’.
“The Christian population of Iraq, for instance, is less than half what it was in 2003 and their churches, houses and businesses have been damaged or destroyed.
“The Syrian Christian population has halved since 2010.
“As a result, across the region Christian communities that were the foundation of the universal Church now face the threat of imminent extinction.
Only 1 in 400 Syrian Christians were given refuge in the UK even though their lives were under threat, Express.co.uk has found.
An estimated 10 percent of Syrians are Christians, and the number of those granted asylum in the UK has plummeted since 2016.
Christians settled in the Middle East more than 2,000 years ago, building churches and establishing their communities in the region for centuries.
However, Archbishop Welby explained how millions of Christians in the Middle East now face threats of persecution, and how governments must address the severity of the problem.
He wrote: “Whether in large and flourishing communities, such as in Lebanon or Egypt, or smaller, struggling Churches, they need the protection and encouragement of governments and people at home and abroad, and foreign popular expression.
“Without this they cannot live out their vocation as citizens of their native lands in co-operation with other religious groups.
By Latifa Yedroudj