The Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, made a harsh judgement on the so-called "Arab Spring" that has swept through North Africa and parts of the Middle East in the past two years.
"I find it difficult to talk of an Arab Spring, as I sometimes get the impression that it's more of an Islamist Winter," Cardinal Koch said in a wide-ranging interview with Germany's Catholic News Agency (KNA) last week.
Asked what effects he thought the Arab Spring was having on the situation of Christians in the Middle East, the cardinal said: "Re-Islamisation can now be observed in many countries, for instance, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon but also Turkey, which is very worrying for the Christians there."
Above: Young men pass buildings destroyed by Syrian airstrikes in Damascus. Photo: CNS photo/Goran Tomasevic, Reuters