U.S. attempts to “plant democracy” in regions such as the Middle East have dramatically effected life for Christians there in a negative way and led to plummeting numbers of Christians in these areas, believes His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
The head of the Russian Church’ Synodal Department for External Church Relations (DECR) spoke about the lamentable situation of Christians in the Middle East on the program “Church and World” in response to the recent statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the U.S. will no longer use force to try to bring democracy to other countries, reports the DECR.
“We will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We have tried these tactics in the past. However well intentioned, they haven’t worked,” the Secretary said.
“I examine the situation in this case through the prism of the situation of Christians in these countries, because that’s information I have first hand, and I can testify to what happened, for example, in Iraq, where the Americans tried to create a democracy through a military invasion,” Met. Hilarion commented.
“There is still no democracy there,” His Eminence added. “But under Saddam Hussein, there were a million and a half Christians living there, and now, at best, one-tenth of this number remains.”
A similar situation occurred in Libya when the U.S. overthrew Gaddafi, the Metropolitan said. “Under Gadaffi, there were Christians—now there are almost no Christians left.”
“This is a very simple, very vivid illustration of how wrong and, I would even say, criminal America’s foreign policy towards Middle Eastern countries has been,” Met. Hilarion stated.
However, if America truly abandons its policy of “planting democracy” in such ways, it will be very well received by the Middle East and the entire world, Vladyka concluded.
Conversely, the Antiochian Orthodox Church has thanked Russia and the Russian Church many times for its support of Middle Eastern Christians and help in the fight against terrorists.
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