Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia fears that killings of Christians in Syria and Iraq could end in a tragedy for civilization in the region.
"It will be wrong to speak about Christians only. Muslims are suffering as well, and even more in terms of numbers, but since the Christian population is a minority in those countries, the destruction of this minority could lead to total disappearance of the Christian presence in the Middle East, and that will already be a catastrophe," the patriarch said at a meeting with Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun in Moscow.
The Middle Eastern Christians did not immigrate from anywhere, they come from these places, "it is their home," the patriarch said.
"Against the backdrop of what is now happening, the position of Syria as a state, the position of the Syrian people, which continues fighting for its independence, is of particular significance, and we support your people," he said.
The grand mufti replied by calling for a summit of religious leaders.
"At this point we really need this conference because what is happening in Iraq, in Syria and in Ukraine will also happen in other countries, including the Russian Federation," he said, voicing his fears.