The Prince Of Wales is a friend to Islam — rather more of one than some English Christians like. He is also a practicing Christian. You would expect that of the man who will, as king, be known as Defender Of The Faith, but I was told by a friend of his that he takes his religion seriously. He makes pilgrimages to Mount Athos (his father, Prince Philip, was Greek Orthodox), and prays and meditates, and even receives communion, alone in a hut he built in his garden at Highgrove. James C. passes along news that the Prince has just spoken out for Christians in the Middle East. Excerpt:

Christianity is beginning “to disappear” in its own birthplace after 2,000 years because of a wave of “organised persecution” across the Middle East, the Prince of Wales has warned.

In an impassioned intervention, he said that the world is in danger of losing something “irreplaceably precious” with communities tracing their history back to the time of Jesus now under threat from fundamentalist Islamist militants.

Speaking openly of his own Christian faith, he said he had become “deeply troubled” by the plight of those he described as his “brothers and sisters in Christ”.

And the Prince, a long-standing advocate of dialogue between religions, voiced personal dismay at seeing his work over the last 20 years to “build bridges and dispel ignorance” being deliberately destroyed by those attempting to exploit the Arab Spring for their own ends.

He devoted a Christmas reception for religious leaders at Clarence House to draw attention to the threat Christians have come under in recent months across Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other parts of the region.

A Jordanian prince — a Muslim, obviously — stood by the prince and also spoke up for persecuted Christians.