MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Russia will continue to provide assistance to Christians in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"The Middle East is going through serious trials, with Christians fleeing Iraq, public executions of Coptic Christians staged in Libya, Christians being massacred by terrorists and extremists in Syria. It is only a small portion of consequences of geopolitical engineering by United States and their closest allies," Lavrov said at a reception in honor of Orthodox Christian Easter.
Moscow "continues providing assistance to the Christian population in the Middle East, from deliveries of humanitarian aid to restoration of churches and monasteries," he noted. "Our country initiated large-scale international efforts to protect Christians, including within the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe."
"Obviously, reliable protection of Christians residing in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as of people practicing other religions, can be ensured only through ultimate extermination of terrorism and through sustainable political and diplomatic solutions to numerous crises and conflicts. Russia is taking vigorous efforts to resolve these major problems," the Russian foreign minister stressed.
Lavrov noted that Christians are being persecuted in different parts of the world. "In Europe that shamefully renounces its Christian roots, an aggressive minority is persistently imposing pseudo-liberal values which are sometimes taken to absurd levels. All of this has a detrimental effect on the moral well-being of European communities, and leads to growing sectarian tensions," he added.
The Russian foreign minister reminded that the conflict in Yugoslavia led to the death of Orthodox Christians and destruction of Christian shrines that were on the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. "Christians have suffered and continue to suffer from geopolitical experiments carried out by countries of the so-called historical West," Lavrov noted. "Twenty years ago, the North Atlantic Alliance committed an act of aggression against Yugoslavia, which resulted not only in the death of civilians, but also in an exodus of Orthodox Christians from Kosovo, in desecration and destruction of cathedrals and shrines in this Serbian land, including those under UNESCO's protection," he said.