Christians Are Being Violently Pushed Out Of Middle East

Coptic cross. Author: Sagredo (CC)

Coptic cross. Author: Sagredo (CC)

In the wake of the suicide bomb attack on the Coptic Christians in Egypt and the deadly October massacre at a Christian church in Iraq, Paul McGeough writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that Christians are rapidly leaving the Middle East altogether:

…A century ago, they accounted for 20 per cent of the population in the Middle East – today the Vatican estimates that proportion to be 5 per cent and falling in a region in which most regimes impose limits and restrictions on Christian rituals.

Iran has recently been rounding up Christian missionaries and deadly Christian-Muslim violence has erupted again in Nigeria.

“If this phenomenon continues, Christianity in the Middle East will disappear,” the Reverend Khalil Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit in Beirut, told reporters on the eve of a Vatican conference that discussed the crisis last year. “This is not an unreal hypothesis – Turkey went from 20 per cent Christian in the early 20th century to 0.2 per cent now. [And the flight from Iraq] could bleed the Church in Iraq dry.”

In the early 1950s, 20 per cent of Egyptians were Christian – today, at just 10 per cent of the population, they are the region’s biggest Christian community but they hold just three of the 508 seats in the parliament.

There was advance warning of the attack on the Alexandria church on an Islamic website, which Cairo initially blamed on al-Qaeda but which some Egyptian political analysts speculated might be the work of locals frustrated by an absence of substantive reform in Mubarak’s 30-year reign.

What emerges from the experience of the latest hot spots is that what is perceived to be a solution often creates a greater problem – that is, trying to deal with the crisis as a security challenge that can be dealt with in the short term.

A bare-knuckled crackdown on those who thrive amid the collapse of their social and political institutions, as in Pakistan, or the marginalisation and oppression of voices for reform, as in Egypt, tends to gloss over the reality that the root cause of the problem is elsewhere…

Would Muslims put up with this treatment in North America or Europe?

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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36 Comments on "Christians Are Being Violently Pushed Out Of Middle East"

  1. Christian rituals? what a joke, the only christian ritual is the belief that god wants you to wait here, suffer, and then die in obscurity, having never stood for anything your whole life. Jesus saves you and then thats it, you’re off the hook, go forth and sin because its ‘no big deal’

  2. Christian rituals? what a joke, the only christian ritual is the belief that god wants you to wait here, suffer, and then die in obscurity, having never stood for anything your whole life. Jesus saves you and then thats it, you’re off the hook, go forth and sin because its ‘no big deal’

    • That particular view of salvation is not a universal belief among Christians. In fact, the Copts (as what are sometimes called an Oriental Orthodox church) probably don’t believe a number of things that you think all Christians believe- like the dogma of original sin, for example.

      But regardless of your disdain for Christianity, people shouldn’t feel afraid to practice their faith in their own homeland. And despite my sympathy for the Copts (and Middle Eastern Christians in general), the women who converted to Islam to gain a divorce shouldn’t have been heartlessly turned back over to abusive husband. Like the article said, this is as much about power and control as faith.

      • mrtastycakes | Jan 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

        Amen. In fact, that view just represents a loud and litigious American minority, restrained to Protestantism and some Western Catholic churches.
        Orthodox Christian rituals and beliefs are drastically different–probably because we haven’t changed them for nearly 2000 years.

    • ishaohfkkw | Jan 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm |

      You’re a bigot, plain and simple.

  3. That particular view of salvation is not a universal belief among Christians. In fact, the Copts (as what are sometimes called an Oriental Orthodox church) probably don’t believe a number of things that you think all Christians believe- like the dogma of original sin, for example.

    But regardless of your disdain for Christianity, people shouldn’t feel afraid to practice their faith in their own homeland. And despite my sympathy for the Copts (and Middle Eastern Christians in general), the women who converted to Islam to gain a divorce shouldn’t have been heartlessly turned back over to abusive husband. Like the article said, this is as much about power and control as faith.

  4. WhiteRose | Jan 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm |

    How sad. As my grandmother so wisely said Jesus had nothing to do with it… they are being pushed out because the Muslims view Christianity as a western religion i.e. American/European and thus their cause for hatred and being occupied.

  5. WhiteRose | Jan 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm |

    How sad. As my grandmother so wisely said Jesus had nothing to do with it… they are being pushed out because the Muslims view Christianity as a western religion i.e. American/European and thus their cause for hatred and being occupied.

  6. mrtastycakes | Jan 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm |

    Amen. In fact, that view just represents a loud and litigious American minority, restrained to Protestantism and some Western Catholic churches.
    Orthodox Christian rituals and beliefs are drastically different–probably because we haven’t changed them for nearly 2000 years.

  7. While I’m saddened by any occurrence that takes peoples’ lives, such as what happened in Alexandria, I won’t be shedding any tears for christianity. It and islam both can disappear for the good of the world.

  8. While I’m saddened by any occurrence that takes peoples’ lives, such as what happened in Alexandria, I won’t be shedding any tears for christianity. It and islam both can disappear for the good of the world.

  9. ishaohfkkw | Jan 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm |

    You’re a bigot, plain and simple.

  10. Haystack | Jan 8, 2011 at 1:12 am |

    “Would Muslims put up with this treatment in North America or Europe?”

    France outlawed the burka, Switzerland is halting construction of mosques, and America is now establishing a congressional committee to investigate Muslims for not being patriotic enough. What do you mean “would” they put up with it?

  11. Haystack | Jan 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm |

    “Would Muslims put up with this treatment in North America or Europe?”

    France outlawed the burka, Switzerland is halting construction of mosques, and America is now establishing a congressional committee to investigate Muslims for not being patriotic enough. What do you mean “would” they put up with it?

  12. Word Eater | Jan 8, 2011 at 1:40 am |

    Wow, the persecution that the Christians have been telling everyone they are suffering has finally come around! What great news for Christians everywhere!

  13. Word Eater | Jan 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm |

    Wow, the persecution that the Christians have been telling everyone they are suffering has finally come around! What great news for Christians everywhere!

    • Haystack | Jan 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

      I’ll bet the Walmart greeters in those countries only say “Happy Holidays.”

    • mrtastycakes | Jan 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

      What do you mean? Christians have been brutally oppressed since day one.

      Of course, the Western Christians who are so proud of others suffering have experienced less than a century of it almost 500 years ago, and then by the hands of other Western Christians.

      Copts and other Orthodox Christians have been beaten down on a regular basis by almost every sect and government, made very little fuss about it, and rarely took it out on another religion:

      https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians

      • Christians may have been oppressed since day one, but they HAVEN’T been oppressed every day SINCE. Indeed, often it is they who have been the oppressors at least at one point in any society in which they have become dominant.

        That said, in this case, I’d recommend they leave the desert to the OTHER religious wingnuts. If Muslims want that land so bad, let them suck on camel farts in the heat for all eternity. Isolate and IGNORE them until they all drop dead of natural stupidity.

  14. Anonymous | Jan 8, 2011 at 3:15 am |

    Sounds like the Christians have it pretty easy over there, try being gay and see how you go.

  15. dumbsaint | Jan 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm |

    Sounds like the Christians have it pretty easy over there, try being gay and see how you go.

  16. Haystack | Jan 8, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

    I’ll bet the Walmart greeters in those countries only say “Happy Holidays.”

  17. mrtastycakes | Jan 9, 2011 at 12:48 am |

    What do you mean? Christians have been brutally oppressed since day one.

    Of course, the Western Christians who are so proud of others suffering have experienced less than a century of it almost 500 years ago, and then by the hands of other Western Christians.

    Copts and other Orthodox Christians have been beaten down on a regular basis by almost every sect and government, made very little fuss about it, and rarely took it out on another religion:

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians

  18. Christians may have been oppressed since day one, but they HAVEN’T been oppressed every day SINCE. Indeed, often it is they who have been the oppressors at least at one point in any society in which they have become dominant.

    That said, in this case, I’d recommend they leave the desert to the OTHER religious wingnuts. If Muslims want that land so bad, let them suck on camel farts in the heat for all eternity. Isolate and IGNORE them until they all drop dead of natural stupidity.

  19. Hadrian999 | Jan 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm |

    the local Christians there are probably getting a raw deal but they can lay the blame on their international brethren, the ones that travel abroad with the goal of destroying local cultures and tear apart families, not fair to the ones that just live, maybe magic sky daddy should step in and save the day.

  20. Hadrian999 | Jan 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm |

    the local Christians there are probably getting a raw deal but they can lay the blame on their international brethren, the ones that travel abroad with the goal of destroying local cultures and tear apart families, not fair to the ones that just live, maybe magic sky daddy should step in and save the day.

  21. Tuna Ghost | Jan 11, 2011 at 3:01 am |

    Fuck, first the Mandaeans, then the Yezidis…

  22. Tuna Ghost | Jan 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm |

    Fuck, first the Mandaeans, then the Yezidis…

  23. there are plenty of homosexuals in the middle east…its part of muslim culture actually.

  24. You mention a few countries and Muslims, but what about Israel? Christians in Israel are treated worse than second class citizens. Just try and mention it here in the USA and you be labeled an anti-Semitic holocaust denier. I personally have no hatred for anyone, and I despise war, organized religions, and intolerance. I am however; starting to understand why the holocausts happen.

  25. You mention a few countries and Muslims, but what about Israel? Christians in Israel are treated worse than second class citizens. Just try and mention it here in the USA and you be labeled an anti-Semitic holocaust denier. I personally have no hatred for anyone, and I despise war, organized religions, and intolerance. I am however; starting to understand why the holocausts happen.

  26. So violently push the Muslims out of Europe & North America!

  27. So violently push the Muslims out of Europe & North America!

  28. Isn’t it part of every culture?

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