Vulnerable Christians in the Middle East are victims of the policy of regime change

A man is comforted by others as he mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group, in the village of el-Aour, near Minya, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt in 2015. Christians are increasingly vulnerable in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A man is comforted by others as he mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group, in the village of el-Aour, near Minya, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt in 2015. Christians are increasingly vulnerable in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

You quote Lord Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury, accusing the government of neglecting persecuted Christian refugees fleeing Islamic extremists in Syria.

Lord Carey should know, however, that the government along with that of France, the US and others are hardly bystanders but participants in wars of regime change across a large part of the Arab and Muslim world from northern Africa to Afghanistan.

Letters to Editor

Letters to Editor

These regime wars have created chaos and opportunities for these rebel groups who are clearly overwhelmingly Islamist in number and outlook to expand the power and reach of their brutal Islamic intolerance, oppression of women, general backwardness, contempt for religious freedom and the destruction of indigenous Christian communities in Syria and Iraq which have paid the price of these policies with their lives, in the destruction of their churches, communities and their futures.

Unfortunately it is apparent that Christians are increasingly isolated and vulnerable in the Middle East – witness what is happening in Egypt as a result of hostile Islamic fundamentalism.

With the possible exception of Egypt and the Lebanon, Christians in the Middle East have now no state actors to defend them.

Unlike the Shi’ite community which has Iran and Iraq or the Sunni community which has Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf States, Syrian and Iraqi Christians have no effective pluralist state to protect them as your article clearly indicates.

The regimes of Syria and Iraq prior to 2003 were able to protect their Christians against Islamists, but have been in the case of Iraq destroyed and in the case of Syria severely weakened.

The new state of Iraq is based on Islamic law and dominated by sectarian conflict between Shi’ite and Sunni.

Syria is under attack from an Islamic onslaught supported by the government which claims that there are moderate rebels.

The ongoing destruction of the Syrian Christian communities, however, is a brutal reality check to this self-serving fantasy.

It is well passed the time for the regime-change warriors to stop turning more and more countries in the Middle East into Islamic states and instead become protectors of Middle East Christians and not the defenders of their enemies.

If Lord Carey wants to help Christians in the middle east have a future in their own countries, instead of being refugees in foreign lands, then he should be urging his government to put religious freedom and tolerance at the very core of their policies and work with others, including Russia, through the structures of the United Nations, to strengthen the peace process and the UN-sponsored talks on Syria, to bring this war to an end and replace violence with politics and dialogue to make Syria safe for its Christian communities again.

Laurence Moffat, Crossgar