Speaking in 2014, a decade after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Prince Charles remarked:

“It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East, an area where Christians have lived for 2,000 years and across which Islam spread in 700 AD, with people of different faiths living together peaceably for centuries.”

The threat to Christianity in its original heartlands in the Middle East did not begin with the war to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein or the dreadful destruction which followed. But what is sadly apparent is that ancient Christian communities became part of the “collateral damage” which that conflict helped generate. A previously gradual decline in Christian numbers in the region was transformed into an ongoing rush for the exit.