Recall that in the countries of the Middle East, which today are under the blow of the radicals from the "Islamic State", there are still the oldest Christian communities in the world. It was here, on the lands of Palestine and Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, about two thousand years ago that the first Christian churches appeared. The militants of the IG today are beating the cradle of Christianity, delivering devastating blows on the land from which the Christian faith began its journey. For a long time, Christianity remained the dominant religion in entire regions of the Middle East, and only the creation of the Arab Caliphate was the beginning of a millennium and a half. stories survival of Middle Eastern Christians under the authority of representatives of another religion. A significant part of the Christian population of the region chose to accept Islam, but many Christians have retained their faith and up to the present, even taking into account all the many vicissitudes of the military-political history of the Middle East, impressive Christian communities remain here, although they belong to different churches.
Christians in Iraq: the genocide began with the overthrow of Saddam
On the territory of Iraq, according to the beginning of the 2000-s. There were about 1,5 million Christians who made up 5% of the population. The Christians of Iraq, among whom Arabs and Assyrians predominated in ethnicity, belong to several churches. The largest of these is the Chaldean Catholic Church, which arose as a result of the separation of a number of clergy from the Nestorian Assyrian Church of the East, who chose their patriarch in 1552 and entered into union with the Roman throne. The congregation of the Chaldean Catholic Church is represented mainly by Arabized Assyrians. Many of them today live not only in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, but also outside the Middle East, primarily in the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, where Iraqi Christians emigrated throughout the twentieth century to escape persecution of the Ottoman and then the Arab governments. The Chaldean Catholic Church currently includes 9 archdioceses and 12 dioceses. These are: the Archdiocese of Baghdad (the diocese of Alkasha, Aqrah, Zakho-Amadiya); Archdiocese of Kirkuk - Sulaimania; Archdiocese of Tehran (Iran); Archdiocese of Urmia (Selmas Diocese); Archdiocese of Ahwaz (Iran); Archbishop of Erbil; The archdiocese of Basra; Archdiocese of Mosul; Archdiocese of Diarbakır (Turkey); Diocese of Aleppo (Syria); Diocese of Beirut (Lebanon); Diocese of Cairo (Egypt); Diocese of Mad Adai (Toronto, Canada); Diocese of St. Peter (San Diego, USA); Diocese of St. Thomas (Detroit, USA); Diocese of St. Thomas (Sydney, Australia). The most famous representative of the Chaldean Catholic community was Tariq Aziz (his real name is Mikail Juhanna) - one of the closest associates of Saddam Hussein, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq. Chaldeo Catholics have been repeatedly abused by the surrounding Muslim population. Only during World War I, during the genocide, about 70 000 followers of the Chaldean Catholic Church died.
this catholic monastery in Iraq is no more - it was blown up by IS militants
The Assyrian Church of the East is the oldest Christian church in Mesopotamia. Referred to the ancient oriental churches, it originated in the 1st c. AD among the population of Syria and Babylonia, who speak Aramaic languages. The church adheres to the East Syrian church ceremony, carrying out worship in the Syrian language. At one time, adherents of the Assyrian Church of the East made a huge contribution to the spread of Christianity east of Iran - in Central Asia, India, China, among the nomadic Mongolian and Turkic tribes of Central Asia. The Nestorian Diocese even operated in the capital of the Golden Horde, and the influence of Nestorianism in India is felt to the present day - there is a significant Nestorian community living there, and the Malayalam language is used as a language for worship in the Indian Diocese of the church. Today, the basis of the congregation of the church are Assyrians living in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, India, in the territory of the republics of the Caucasus, the Russian Federation, European countries, the United States. The total number of parishioners reaches 200-400 thousands of people around the world. In Iraq, before 2003, there lived 58 000 followers of the Assyrian Church of the East. The parishes in Iraq are incorporated into the Diocese of Iraq and the Diocese of Northern Iraq and the CIS (Russian Assyrians are also subordinated in the religious sense to the Diocese of Northern Iraq). In addition, there are Indian (Kochinsky) Diocese in India, the Diocese of Iran, the Diocese of Lebanon, the Diocese of Syria, the Diocese of Europe, the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, the Diocese of Western California, the Diocese of the Western United States, the Patriarchal Diocese of the Eastern United States (residence of the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church. Illinois).
The ancient Assyrian Church of the East is also common among the Assyrian people of Iraq. It originated in 1964 as a result of a split in the Assyrian Church of the East and has at least 100 000 worshipers living not only in Iraq, but also in other countries of the Middle East, the USA, New Zealand, and European countries. On the territory of Iraq, according to the end of 1990's. there were about 23 000 followers of the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East. The residence of the patriarch, or catholicos of the church, is located in Baghdad. The territory of Iraq includes the Kirkuk Archdiocese, the Nineveh Archdiocese (Mosul), the Diocese of Baghdad and Syria (the residence in Baghdad is also responsible for the Syrian parishioners), the Diocese of Dahuk. Outside the country, parishioners of the church are united by the Archdiocese of Europe (the center is in Mainz, Germany), the Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, the Diocese of the USA and Canada (the center is in Chicago, USA), the Diocese of California (center is Modesto) and Diocese of St. Zai (center - in the city of Sydney).
- the famous Green Church in Tikrit (Iraq) was also blown up by extremists
In addition to the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East, the Syrian Catholic Church with the archdiots of Baghdad and Mosul, the Syrian Orthodox Church (45 000 parishioners to 2003), the Malankara Orthodox Church (XNXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX of of the parishioners from India), Coptic Orthodox Church (parishioners 8), Orthodox Church of Antioch (parishioners 000), Armenian Apostolic Church (from 1800 2000 to 20 000 parishioners according to data before 50), Melkite Catholic church (about 000 parishioners).
The government of Saddam Hussein, being a secular Arab regime, strongly Christian population did not discriminate. As we noted above, even one of Saddam’s closest comrades, Tariq Aziz, came from the Chaldean-Catholic community. When in 2003, the Saddam regime fell under the blows of the pro-American coalition troops, the more or less peaceful existence of Iraqi Christians came to an end. It turns out that it was the American invasion that led to the intensification of the Islamists and the subsequent start of the present genocide of the Christian population in Iraq. In the 12 years that have passed since the American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the Christian population of the country has declined from 1,5 million. to 150 thous. - that is, in 10 times. Thousands of Christians died during the war, as a result of terrorist attacks by fanatics, but most chose to leave the country. The worst threat to the existence of the Christian community in Iraq was the emergence of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”. In June, 2014. IG militants besieged the city of Mosul, in which 35 lived thousands of Christians - the remnants of the 60-thousandth Christian community before the war. The “Islamic state” demanded that Christians pay a monthly tax of “Jizya” in 250 dollars, threatening to destroy the entire Christian population of Mosul. Most Mosulian Christians managed to escape to the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Syria: Assad - the last hope of local Christians
In Syria, at present, Christians make up at least 10% of the total population of the country. Here are the oldest Christian shrines. It was from Damascus that the Apostle Paul began his sermon on Christianity. Recall that before the Arab conquest, Christians constituted a large part of the population of Syria, and even after the creation of the Arab Caliphate, the influence of Christianity in Syria persisted - until about the XI century, the Christian population numbered at least half of the country's inhabitants. The situation changed after the departure of European Crusaders from Syria. For about two hundred years, the overwhelming majority of Syrian Christians were partly massacred and partly converted to Islam. Only separate local communities survived. And yet, despite the centuries of the existence of Syria under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the Syrian Christians were able to preserve their identity. A significant part of Syrian Christians belongs to the upper and middle classes, is well integrated into the political and economic life of the country and lives in large cities - Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, etc. As in Iraq, Syrian Christianity is not one and includes a number of churches - both the Eastern Christian and the Catholic rite.
The most numerous Christian church in Syria is the Antioch Orthodox Church, founded around AD 37. in Antioch by the apostles Peter and Paul. What has not suffered the Antiochian church for two thousand years of its existence - religious persecution, attempts to force Islamization of its adherents, political pressure from the authorities of the Arab caliphate, then - the Ottoman Empire. The Russian empire provided patronage to the Syrian Orthodox, and since 1908 each year the Patriarchate of Antioch received for 30 thousands of rubles from the personal funds of Emperor Nicholas II. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of the construction of a national state in Turkey, the followers of the Antioch Orthodox Church from Cilicia were resettled to Syria. At the same time, even in Syria, despite the fact that anti-Christian sentiments were not so strong here, Orthodox Christians felt uneasy. Many thousands of Syrian Orthodox have emigrated to the United States of America, Europe. Nevertheless, Syria is still the country with the largest Christian population in the Middle East. The Antioch Orthodox Church unites, mainly, Orthodox Arabs and Greeks. Church services in this regard are conducted in Arabic and Greek. The Antiochian church includes the Diocese 22, of which 6 are located in Syria - these are the dioceses of Damascus, Latakia, Aleppo (Aleppo), Hama (Epiphany), Homs (Amessa), Essaouida (Bostra). The 6 dioceses of the church are located in neighboring Lebanon - these are the dioceses of Beirut (Beritos), Tripoli, Akkar (Arkady), El-Hadata (Byblos and Bothrus), Zahli (Heliopolis and Seleucia) and Merge Ayoun (Tire and Sidon). The total number of parishioners of the Antioch Orthodox Church in the world is 2 million, including 1 million church followers living in Syria, making up 5% of the country's population, and 400 thousand followers in Lebanon, making up 10% of the country's population. The remaining followers of the Orthodox Church are living in the United States and Western Europe.
The Syrian Orthodox Church, or the Syro-Yakovite Orthodox Church, numbers only 680 thousands of followers in Syria alone. In Damascus, is the residence of the Patriarch of Antioch and the whole East of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Historically, the Syro-Yakovites had close ties with India, and today the Indian community of the church is twice as large as the Syrian one (about 1,2 million). Another significant Eastern Christian church in Syria is the Armenian Apostolic Church, which unites, first of all, the Syrian Armenians. In Syria, there is the Beria Diocese of the Cilician Catholicosate of the Armenian Apostolic Church, with its center in Aleppo.
In 1724, the Melkite Catholic Church stood out from the Antiochian Orthodox Church, recognizing the supremacy of the Roman throne. The Melkite church is one of the Greek Catholic churches. Initially, it united the believers of Syria and Lebanon, and its center was located on Lebanese territory. After liberalizing the attitude to the Melkites of the Ottoman government, the residence of the patriarch was moved to Damascus. Later, the Melkite Church extended its influence also to communities in Jordan, Palestine and Egypt. Currently, it is considered the most numerous Greek Catholic Church in the Middle East after the Lebanese Maronites, and unites about 1,67 million believers. The Antiochian Patriarchate of the Melkite Church, the Archdiocese of Damascus, the Archdiocese of Aleppo, the Archdiocese of Bosra and Hauran, the Archdiocese of Homs and the Archdiocese of Laodicea operate in Syria. Several archdioceses of the church operate in the territory of neighboring Lebanon (the archdiocese of Beirut and Bibl, Tire, Baniyas, Sidon, Tripoli), in Egypt, Israel and Jordan. A number of dioceses operate in the United States, Western Europe and Latin America. Worship in the church is held in Greek, its members are also mainly Greeks and Arabs. Also on the territory of Syria there are parishes of the Maronite Catholic Church, which unites about 50 thousands of Syrian Christians and has two archdioceses in Syria - in Aleppo and Damascus, and a diocese in Laodikee. The territory of Syria is also covered by the Archdiocese of Aleppo of the Armenian Catholic Church. The Syrian Catholic Church has three archdiocese in Syria - in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.
In the context of the revitalization of the “Islamic State” in Syria, Syrian Christians almost fully supported President Bashar al-Assad and his policy of suppressing extremists. The regime of Bashar al-Assad until recently remains the last stronghold of secularism in the Arab East. It is noteworthy that the Western world since the Middle Ages, the crusades, had connections with Syrian and Lebanese Christians. In order to extend its influence to the Middle East, the Vatican repeatedly promised intercession to Syrian, Lebanese, and Iraqi Christians. Thus a number of Eastern Catholic churches arose. However, in the modern world, the situation has changed. For the sake of US political interests, Europe swallows a massive genocide of the Christian population in Syria and Iraq. In fact, the United States, despite the fact that its president takes an oath on the Bible, supported the Wahhabi fanatics in their desire to overthrow the last secular regime of the Middle East and establish a tough theocratic dictatorship on the territory of the once flourishing Iraq and Syria. One can be sure that after the final seizure of Iraq and Syria, the “Islamic State” will not calm down and will move on. Today, it is obvious to the entire world community that in the Middle East there is a real total genocide of the Christian population, aimed at a complete "cleansing" of the territory of the ancient Christian communities. Hundreds of thousands of Christian refugees have already left the places where their ancestors, despite the campaigns of the Arab caliphs, Seljuk and Ottoman sultans, the rule of the Arab nationalists, could survive for almost two thousand years. The end of Christianity in the Middle East comes with the open consent of the United States of America, with the direct connivance of European states, including France itself, which has well-established ties with Lebanon and Syria.
US stands at the origins of destabilization
Over the past century, the confessional map of the Middle East has undergone dramatic changes. Back in the early twentieth century, Christianity professed about 25% of the population of the countries of the Middle East. Syria was a third a Christian country; in Lebanon, Christians made up more than half the country's population. It was the policies of the West, first of all, Great Britain, and then the USA, which relied on the most reactionary fundamentalist forces in the Arab countries, which led to a multiple reduction of the Christian population in the countries of the Middle East in a matter of decades. As conditions for Christians living in Arab countries became less and less acceptable, hundreds of thousands of Christians — Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians — left their homeland and went into exile. Among those who left were both Orthodox and Catholics. For one Christian denomination or church, a more or less favorable regime of existence was not created. On the other hand, the departure of Christians from the countries of the Middle East significantly reduced the intellectual, cultural, and economic potential of the Arab states. Among the Christians, representatives of the intelligentsia, businessmen, and qualified specialists prevailed. They found employment in emigration without special problems, but there was no one to replace them in their native countries. The fundamentalists relied on fanatical impoverished and illiterate youth - urban marginal groups and rural residents. And those and others, squeezing Christians out of Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian cities, could not take their place in cultural and economic life. But the United States and European countries received, in the face of emigrants, excellent specialists, experts in their field, capable of doing business or full intellectual work, and significantly different from the millions of illiterate masses of migrants from Africa and Asia. As Professor S. Farah rightly noted, the Christian West does not care at all about the future of Christianity in the Middle East. Christians of Arab countries are interested in him only to the extent that they possess certain social and economic resources, and only in this sense are they interested in him (Farah S. Levantine Exodus // Nezavisimaya Gazeta. October 15 2008).
Syria has long remained one of the most stable countries in the Middle East, primarily distinguished by tolerance and the possibility of coexistence of representatives of the most diverse national and religious communities. The secular regime of the Arab nationalists Asadov, who themselves belong to the religious minority of the Alawites, did not tolerate oppression on a confessional and ethnic basis. But radical fundamentalist organizations have repeatedly made terrorist attacks against the ruling regime and civilians in Syria in order to destabilize the situation in the country. In the end, they succeeded. One of the blooming countries of the Middle East has become a field of bloody war between the government forces of Bashar al-Assad and the so-called opposing him. “Opposition”, for the support of which the world liberal media have concentrated all their propaganda resources. The overthrow of Bashar al-Assad was hypocritically turned by American propagandists and their satellites into the main goal of the notorious "democratization" of the Middle East, while the number of human victims among the multi-ethnic and multi-religious population of Syria was never taken into account. Even now, when the United States seems to be showing concern about the events in Syria and Iraq and is calling the “Islamic State” a terrorist organization, in fact, the West is not going to stop the bloodshed in the region. American and European leaders give IG fanatics the opportunity to cut out thousands of Christians in Syria and Iraq with impunity, destroy Christian shrines, wipe the oldest cultural heritage of Mesopotamia.
Mikhail Bokov cites the opinion of Charles Sarkis, a representative of the Christian community of the ancient Iraqi city of Nineveh, who absolutely correctly emphasizes: “On the one hand, the United States speaks of its intention to destroy the Islamic State, and on the other, it bombards the positions of the friendly Iraqi army, explaining it with errors leadership, and arms the various factions that are called moderate Islam. But this moderate Islam was on the lists of terrorist organizations yesterday ”(M. Bokov, We are the cry and evidence of monstrous crimes // http://rusplt.ru/). It was the United States that created the situation in which the Islamist groups in the world media got the image of “opposition” and “fighters for democracy”, and the tolerant secular regime of Bashar al-Assad was called a totalitarian state. And even now, when the whole world is looking with horror at the crimes of fanatics who destroy Palmyra, kill Christians and even Muslims, who according to some criteria do not fit into the model of the "ideal Muslim" according to the IG, the United States continues to argue about the need to fight the Al-Assad government , actually pour water on the mill of the "Islamic State".
The question is, what can and should Russia do in this situation? It is obvious that the creation of various Christian missions and similar organizations is a necessary thing, but a matter of the past stage. The situation in the Middle East is very serious. In fact, we are witnessing the true destruction of the Christian religion, its shrines and its bearers on the land where Christianity originated. The last obstacles in the path of the “Islamic state” are the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and the Kurds. However, even if these two forces succeed in defending their own territories and preventing further spread of activity of fanatics outside the region already occupied by the IG, then in those areas that were under the rule of fundamentalists, the further residence of the Christian population is not possible.
Accordingly, it comes to only two possible scenarios. The first option is a full-scale military intervention of the interested states in order to destroy the IS and to restore at least some semblance of order in the warring Syrian and Iraqi territories. However, for a number of reasons, this strategy is impossible. Russia is busy with its own problems, including the current situation in Novorossia, with the recognition of the reunification of the Crimea, the economic crisis. European states, although they pretend that they are going to oppose the IS, but in reality their activity in this direction is ephemeral. What fanatics are doing in the occupied territories is of little interest to European governments, since behind the back of the fanatics the silhouette of the all-powerful "Uncle Sam" inevitably looms. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, answering journalists' questions, stressed that “as for the Middle East and Christians, the situation is terrible. We have talked about this many times and believe that the international community is not doing enough to protect the Christian population of the Middle East ”(Vladimir Putin: The situation of Christians in the Middle East is awful // http://ruskline.ru/).
By the way, it should be noted that, strangely enough, the Vatican can become the most important partner of Russia in solving the problem of Middle Eastern Christians. Despite the long history of rivalry between Eastern and Western Christianity for influencing the flock, the danger of the total annihilation of the Christian religion in the Middle East unites both Catholics and Orthodox. What is happening today in Syria and Iraq is the result of American foreign policy, which aims to minimize religious influence in the region and Russia (through the expulsion of Eastern Christians), and the same France (through the expulsion of Catholics in Syria and Lebanon, who have traditionally been French-oriented) . It is not by chance that Pope Francis criticized the world’s silence about the tragedy of Christians in the Middle East. The pontiff called silence about the murders of Christians in Syria and Iraq "conspiratorial" and called for the use of armed force against IS extremists who destroy the Christian population and Christian shrines in the land of the Middle East.
The second possible scenario is more real. It consists in ensuring the urgent and most painless evacuation of the Christian population from the areas under the rule of the IG and the areas located near the combat zone. The warring territories of Iraq and Syria have already left hundreds of thousands of Christians, some of whom are still in Iraqi Kurdistan - the only political entity in Iraq worthy of opposing the fanatics of the "Islamic State". However, in the near future, the question of where to place Christians who fled from Mosul and other Iraqi cities and villages will inevitably arise. So far, they have found refuge in Erbil, and the leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan has even begun construction of special Christian settlements. But the Kurds do not have the resources to accommodate such a colossal number of refugees and sooner or later the possibilities of Iraqi Kurdistan to help Christians fleeing the Islamic State will be exhausted.
Will Russia accept refugees?
Even in the pre-revolutionary period of its history, Russia showed great participation in the fate of the Christians of the Middle East, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. Protection of the Christian population of Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt remained one of the priorities of the "eastern" policy of the Russian Empire. Russia also has a wealth of experience in helping Christians and representatives of other religions who have fled from persecution by Muslim rulers. On the territory of the Russian Empire, hundreds of thousands of Christians who left the lands subservient to Turkey and Persia found shelter. The first major wave of refugees followed to Russia back in 1827-1828, after signing between the Russian Empire and Persia of the Turkmanchai Treaty. The Christian population from the region of Lake Urmia, among which Assyrians and Armenians prevailed, was resettled to the territory of Russian Armenia, in the province of Erivan. Here they founded three villages - Arzni, Koylazar and Verkhniy Dvin. Currently, approximately 7000 Assyrians live in Armenia. The largest refugee flows rushed into the Russian Empire after the 1915 genocide, when the Christian population in eastern Turkey, in what is now Syria and Iraq, was massacred. The most numerous part of the immigrants were Armenians. When the Russian troops in 1915 began to retreat to the Erivan province, more than 200 thousand Armenians left their native lands in Western Armenia with them. In 1918, during the retreat from the territory of Turkey, the troops of General Andranik Ozanyan, from Western Armenia to Zangezur retreated with military units and more than 30 thousands of Armenian refugees from Mush and Bitlis. They partly settled in Zangezur, partly moved to the outskirts of Yerevan.
In addition to the Armenians, Assyrians also fled to the territory of Russia. At least 30 thousands of Assyrians were forced to leave their homes in Turkey, Iraq and Syria and find shelter in refugee camps in Transcaucasia. There they lived until the 1920-s, after which the Assyrians began to settle in the cities of the Soviet Union. The largest diasporas were formed in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don and Kuban. In 1924, the volost executive committee of the village of Konstantinovskaya in Kuban allocated 300 hectares of land for the deployment of Assyrians. Thus, the village of Urmia, which is now part of the Kurganinsky district of the Krasnodar Territory, appeared. The Urmia is the only Assyrian place of compact residence in Russia, where they now make up almost the entire small population. By the way, it was in Urmia that the famous Joon was born and grew up - an astrologer and healer, whose real name and surname is Evgenia Yuvashevna Sardisova (Beat-Sardis). A third wave of Assyrians resettled to the Soviet Union followed later - this time from Iran. After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the territory of Iran, a dangerous situation was created in the country for the Christian population, primarily for the Assyrians, in whom they saw guides of Russian / Soviet influence. However, this time among the Assyrians who moved to the USSR, representatives of the Iranian urban intelligentsia, who settled in the cities of the Soviet Union, prevailed. Today, tens of thousands of Assyrians live in the territory of the Russian Federation, mostly descendants of the very refugees who fled from the genocide of Christians in the 1915 year.
Besides Armenians and Assyrians, Yezidis also moved to the territory of the Russian Empire. This is a very ancient and interesting people with a tragic fate. Kurdish-speaking Yezids (among the scholars and the Yezidis themselves, the debate about whether to consider them as a separate people, or as part of the Kurdish people) still does not stop, they profess the most ancient religion of the Kurds - Yezidism. Among the Muslims, the life of the Yezidis, the “sun worshipers,” was even more dangerous than the life of the Christian communities. Like the Armenians and Assyrians, the Yezidis suffered greatly during the tragic events of 1915 of the year. During the First World War, the Yezidis of the Ottoman Empire, like the Armenians and Assyrians, fought on the side of the Russian troops. Currently, 40 thousand Yezidis reside on the territory of Armenia - this is the largest national minority of the country. Yezidis moved to Russia already from Armenia and Georgia. Today, the largest number of Yezidis in the Russian Federation reside in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Nizhny Novgorod and Yaroslavl regions, as well as in large cities of Russia.
Thus, we see that Russia has historically hosted on its territory refugees — Christians, and not Christians, fleeing from periodic manifestations of genocide in the Middle East. It seems that in the current situation, Russia could also officially provide asylum to people fleeing the IG fanatics operating in Syria and Iraq. At least, the placement on the territory of Russia of the Christian population, moreover, largely belonging to the orthodox directions of Eastern Christianity, would be both culturally and economically justified step. Christians from Syria and Iraq, despite obvious language and cultural barriers, will be able to more effectively integrate into Russian society than migrants from the republics of Central Asia. Moreover, in contrast to Central Asian immigrants belonging to a different cultural and religious tradition, migrants from the Middle East will be a more controlled and controlled part of society - at least through confessional structures, as clerics of churches have a strong influence among them. . It is clear that the Russian state, the Russian Orthodox Church, public organizations will have to make a lot of efforts to accommodate and adapt thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the living conditions in the country. However, only in this case Russia will still be able to preserve the image of the country, historically serving as the patron of Eastern Christianity and not leaving the Christian population of the Middle East in trouble.
At the same time, the organization of mass exodus of Christians from the Middle East is beneficial to the “Islamic State”. Thus, the living space is being cleared for the implementation of plans to build a fundamentalist state, which, however, will not stop and will strive with all its might to continue its military-religious expansion outside of Mesopotamia. Accordingly, the main task is still the preservation of Christianity in the Middle East. And here we return again to the first option - the organization of the “new Reconquista”, the liberation of the Middle East from the extremist threat and the creation of favorable conditions for the return of refugees and the restoration of settlements and religious objects destroyed by fanatics. Whether Russia and other interested actors of world politics will be able to cope with this task - that is the question.