Prince Charles says he fears for Christians in Middle East

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LONDON (AP) — Britain's Prince Charles says he fears there will be "very, very few" Christians left in the Middle East after the turmoil wracking the region.

The heir to the British throne, who is on a trip to the region, tells the BBC that the plight of Christians persecuted by Islamic extremists is "a most agonizing situation," though he says it's important to remember they are just one persecuted minority among many around the world.

In an interview, the prince says "at the same time I fear that the problems in the Middle East are not going to go away immediately," and adds "there is a danger that there is going to be very, very few left."

He is appealing for more work to build bridges between religions.

If he succeeds his mother Queen Elizabeth II as monarch, Charles will become temporal head of the Church of England and take the title "Defender of the Faith." He says that although the title refers to the Anglican faith, he believes the role involved protecting others' freedom to worship.

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