Talk won't protect Christians, Paris says

Jan. 6, 2011 at 10:45 AM
| License Photo

PARIS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The time for making statements of concern regarding the Christian community in the Middle East is over, the French foreign minister said.

The Christian community in the Middle East is on edge following a series of attacks in Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria.

The global community has expressed concern over the rise in the number attacks. Egyptian police were ordered to protect Coptic Christians in Egypt as the minority community prepares for Christmas celebrations Friday.

Michele Alliot-Marie, the French minister for foreign and European affairs, told French newspaper 20 Minutes that expressing concern wasn't enough.

"The time for making statements and expressing concern is over," she was quoted as saying. "This is why I'm going to take a number of initiatives with my European colleagues to ensure the protection of Eastern Christians."

She said Paris opened its doors to Iraqi Christians injured in an October attack on a Christian church in Baghdad but added she felt they were letting "their attacker win" by not returning home.

"Nevertheless, if some people consider themselves unsafe, it's reasonable for them to be given asylum," she said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria
Demand for mobile phones in North Korea means two per household
Volcanic eruption alerts authorities in Japan
Girl Scouts chapter returns $100K donation that excluded transgender girls
More than 1,000 prisoners, some al-Qaida, escape Yemeni prison