Mideast Christians: endangered in their ancestral land via The Commentator

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Mideast Christians: endangered in their ancestral land

As new Islamist regimes in the Middle East condone religious intolerance and introduce Sharia and blasphemy laws, the long-term trend for Christians in their ancestral lands will only grow bleaker

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Christians in the Middle East
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Noah Beck
On 9 August 2013 18:03

Last Saturday, Raymond Ibrahim reported on two more Muslim attacks on Egyptian churches, as “Egypt’s Christian Copts continue to be targeted and scapegoated for the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

As defenceless and abandoned as Mideast Christians seem today, it is worth remembering their historical roots, and recognising just how much the plight of Middle East Christians has deteriorated. Over 2,000 years ago, Christianity was born as a religion and spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the Levant, including territories in modern Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt.

The Christian faith flourished as one of the major religions in the Middle East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Despite Muslim domination of the region, Christians comprised an estimated 20 percent of the Middle East population until the early 20th century.

Today, however, Christians make up a mere 2-5 percent of the Middle East and their numbers are fast dwindling. Writing in the Winter 2001 issue of Middle East Quarterly, scholar Daniel Pipes estimated that Middle East Christians would “likely drop to” half of their numbers “by the year 2020” because of declining birth rates, and a pattern of “exclusion and persecution” leading to emigration.

The “Arab Spring” has only worsened conditions for the indigenous Christians of the Middle East. Like the Kurds, Middle East Christians are a stateless minority, struggling to survive in the world’s toughest neighborhood. Read more…

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