The head of the Syriac Catholic Church has appealed to the Trump administration for “something real on the ground, not just words but a vision” and “honest politics” in order to help Christians in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.  

Speaking to the Register at the end of the first ever government-sponsored conference for persecuted Christians in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 13, Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan said such an approach would allow “all citizens” to feel secure in their countries “without discrimination.”

He said the alternative is chaos which is the “worst enemy” for minorities as above all it leads to a sense of abandonment, making it impossible to convince young generations to stay.

The Syriac patriarch also lamented how the West will only get involved if threatened by Islamism. He also encouraged Western nations to push for religious freedom in the Middle East, and praised Pope Francis for “doing his best” to be a voice “like John the Baptist, shouting in the desert” on behalf of the persecuted.

He said the absence of Christians in the Middle East would be a loss for everyone, not only for the Church, as its heritage is a “richness for the whole world.”