The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres expressed concern Tuesday over the exodus of Christians in the Middle East because of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Guterres said that speaking “as a Christian,” he was “worried about what’s happening in the Middle East.” Guterres referenced the Middle Eastern origins of Christianity and said a religious cleansing of Christians from that part of the world would be “an amputation in the DNA of Christianity and in the DNA of the Middle East.”

“Allow me to speak here also as a Christian, which I probably shouldn’t,” Guterres said at a discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “I must say that I’m worried about what’s happening in the Middle East. “People in my country, and of course I cannot mention the United States because it’s a young nation except for the populations that were here already long ago, but in my country (Portugal), people were still worshipping the trees and the rivers; and the Christians in the Middle East, in Alexandria, in Antioch, in Caesarea…they were discussing whether the Holy Ghost was coming from the Father or from the Father and the Son,” said Guterres. FULL REPORT