Leaders of some of the most ancient churches in the Middle East issued a joint statement denouncing the emergence of armed extremist groups, which they say are threatening the existence of Christians throughout the region. Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs this week visited Christian refugees in northern Iraq who were brutally forced from their homes by ISIS. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced by the fighting, adding to an already burgeoning international refugee crisis. According to the United Nations, there are nearly 50 million refugees worldwide, the highest number since World War II.
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