During a moving speech to Iraqi Christians earlier this month, Prince Charles said he is worried that the world may be returning to the “dark ages of public executions” and warned people against sharing grisly beheading videos made by terrorists such as the Islamic State.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Charles was addressing Chaldean Christians at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Acton, UK when he spoke about the ongoing persecution of Christians in Iraq.
“I have been deeply distressed by the horrific scenes of violence and persecution coming out of your beloved Iraq,” Charles said. “I know that many of those who have been killed or forced to flee are members of your own families. The pain and grief must be quite unimaginable as you see them persecuted because of their faith.”
The Islamic state, who Charles referred to as blasphemers, have beheaded 27 people on film thus far this year, including three Americans, two Britons and 22 Syrians.
“It seems to me that all faiths to some extent shine a light on the divine image in every human life,” he said.
“If that is so then surely to destroy another human being is to desecrate the image of the divine and to do so in the name of faith is nothing less than a blasphemy.”
He then addressed the horrible videos depicting the murder of innocents that have been promulgated by the terrorists.
“As these truly dreadful images of executions and beheadings are transmitted around the world via the internet I cannot help but feel that we are in serious danger, in this so-called modern age, of descending into the dark ages of public executions.”
Referring to the “duty of care”, he went on to ask the congregation whether or not there is a “duty of care towards the victims of violence and their families who, like you, are daily distraught by the graphic transmission of violent images of their loved ones.”
Prince Charles has become one of the most high profile figures to speak out against what is happening to Christians and other minorities around the world at the hands of radical Muslims. Just last month, when the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, released its annual report on Christian persecution, the prince spoke to the House of Lords via a video-taped message denouncing the ” horrendous and heart-breaking events in Iraq and Syria have brought the subject of religious freedom and persecution to the forefront of the world’s news.” Last year he held a reception in Clarence House in response to the plight of Christian persecution around the world which he condemned in the most unequivocal terms.
After his talk at Holy Family Church, Charles met with family members of Christians in Iraq who have come under attack from Isis militants.
One man, Dr. Samad Toma, 37, a clinical scientist, spoke about his sister and her four children who were driven from their home in Mosul last June by Islamic State militants.
“There was 20 hours of no connection with them. It was really frightening, but they managed to go to the Kurdish area,” Dr. Toma said.
“You lose all your history, you lose your childhood memories, you lose everything. Your connections, even your friends. I have some friends who have been killed just because they refuse to obey Isis rule. You lose your roots.”
He went on to say that he has always wanted to show his children where their mother and father grew up, where they went to school and used to play. But everything is changed now.
“Whenever I tell my daughters about Iraq, all they can see is killing. I think they would refuse to go there now, because they would be frightened.”
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