Israeli President Expresses Solidarity With Christians Persecuted in the Middle East, Calls Them 'Brothers'

The president of Israel has acknowledged the plight of Christians in the Middle East in a meeting with religious leaders, calling them "brothers."

(PHOTO: REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN)Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gestures during his speech at the Knesset in Jerusalem on June 10, 2014.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin recently met with leaders of various churches in his residence in celebration of Easter,  according to Israel Today.

During the meeting, Rivlin condemned the persecution many Christians in the Middle East continue to face.

"I say to you here, our Christian brothers of Jerusalem, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time," said the president.

Rivlin added that they are fully aware of the discrimination and violence being done to the Christians because of their faith.

"We have all seen the pictures from Syria; I visited some of the injured being treated in Israeli hospitals," Rivlin told his guests.

He added, "What has happened there to the Christian community – and to the whole country – is a stain on all of humanity."

The Israeli president acknowledged the struggles Christians in the region face, noting that the Jewish people "know better than any what it means to pray in fear, and suffer from terrorism."

He ended his speech with the promise to do his best to "protect your freedom of worship, your security and the security of your holy sites."

Christians have been experiencing increased attacks from Muslim extremists in the past years.

In Egypt, the Islamic State (ISIS) bombed two Coptic churches during Palm Sunday which claimed the lives of many. The ISIS has also heightened its terrorist activities in Syria.

Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa expressed gratitude towards the president's sentiments, Breaking Israel News reported.

"We want to thank you for this sensibility towards the Christian presence in the holy city, and in Israel in general," Pizzaballa told Rivlin. "We appreciate your solidarity and clear words towards Christians."