The Prince of Wales called for more tolerance as he warned of the rise of "aggressive" populism across the world in 2016. The next-in-line to the British throne made the plea as part of BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day segment on the Today programme.

"We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s," he said.

"My parents' generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and inhuman attempts to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe."

His Royal Highness, who by convention is "above politics", did not mention any leaders or political movements.

But, in the Christmas message, the Prince revealed he had met a Jesuit priest from Syria who warned about how Christians are being treated in the Middle Eastern country.

"He told me of mass kidnappings in parts of Syria and Iraq and how he feared that Christians will be driven en masse out of lands described in the Bible," he said. "He thought it quite possible there will be no Christians in Iraq within five years. Clearly, for such people, religious freedom is a daily, stark choice between life and death."

Juan Manuel Santos
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales Jack Taylor/ Getty Images

Charles, who will succeed Queen Elizabeth II as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, added: "Whichever religious path we follow, the destination is the same – to value and respect the other person, accepting their right to live out their peaceful response to the love of God."