(WSJ Houses of Worship) Michael Oren: Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians
...[Middle Eastern Christians] share of the region's population has plunged from 20% a century ago to less than 5% today and falling. In Egypt, 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes last year after beatings and massacres by Muslim extremist mobs. Since 2003, 70 Iraqi churches have been burned and nearly a thousand Christians killed in Baghdad alone, causing more than half of this million-member community to flee. Conversion to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death. Saudi Arabia outlaws private Christian prayer.
As 800,000 Jews were once expelled from Arab countries, so are Christians being forced from lands they've inhabited for centuries.
The only place in the Middle East where Christians aren't endangered but flourishing is Israel. Since Israel's founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%.
Read it all.
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Posted March 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm
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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/41621/
1. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:
“Islam, religion of peace.” Uh-huh. It matters not if people are Anglicans, Animist, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Baha’i, Buddhist, or (as in China) atheist. This is not, as some would suggest, a clash between civilisations, because everywhere Islam interfaces with civilised peoples the result is the same.
Unfortunately the moral and cultural relativists in the over-fed and over-educated West will continue to spew their dysfunctionally unrealistic tripe ... even as their throats are being slit.
March 9, 4:59 pm | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:
I have my doubts about the article, I am sorry to say. Sorry because it is certainly true that Israel’s Arab Christians are freer, and more likely to flourish that almost anywhere else in the region, although we should add that in Jordan next door ancient Christian communities are also flourishing. However, there is more to be said. To begin with, there is at least one claim in the article that is simply nonsense: the statement that Israel’s Christian communities ... have expanded more than 1,000% since 1948. A classic work here is Saul P. Colbi Christians in the Holy Land: Past and Present (Tel Aviv: Am Haseffer, 1969). He says on page 111 that at the census of 1931 there were around 90,000 Christians in the area that we would now call Israel. If the ambassador was correct they would now number 9 million. A second problem is what he leaves out. Christians in Jerusalem suffer the same problem as other Arabs, namely, the terrible overcrowding and the difficulty in getting permission to build or expand a home. New Jewish arrivals from other parts of the world have no such problems, which seems manifestly unjust. A third issue would be the seizure of some Arab Christian lands in 1948 which were never returned. Those who know of the Greek Catholic ie Melkite Archbishop in Galilee, Elias Chacour, will know about the Christian Arab villages of Ikrit and Biram that were taken in 1948 and never returned, despite rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court that they should be returned. All in all, the article is correct. But there is another side to the story. A good, short and readable way in would be Elias Chacour’s autobiography Blood Brothers. He is, by the way, an entirely eirenic person, rooted in Christ and a strong force for peace and reconciliation.
March 10, 4:23 pm | [comment link]
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