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Leading Italian cardinal warns of ethnic cleansing of Middle East Christians

January 26, 2011

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, believes that the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is approaching the level of “ethnic or religious cleansing.”

“For a long time [Christians] have been the religious group that must face the greatest number of persecutions because of their faith,” he said in a January 24 address to his . "A crescendo of bloody incidents that in the course of months has involved India, Pakistan and the Philippines, Sudan and Nigeria, Eritrea and Somalia. However, the most serious events took place in Iraq and finally in Egypt.”

“The Middle East is certainly the region with the highest tension; there, Christianophobia, which is the most current version of religious intolerance, is not far from becoming now a form of ethnic or religious cleansing,” he added.


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