Christianity, born in the Middle East, is in danger of losing its two millenia-long presence there. If that notion sounds alarmist to Western ears, it is acknowledged by Middle Easterners as a growing likelihood.
“I fear the extinction of Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East,” said the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Jean Benjamin Sleiman, as Pope Benedict XVI visited that troubled region this week. The Lebanese Christian columnist Sarkis Naoum added: “Unless there is a turn toward secularism in the Arab world, I don’t think there is a future for Christians here.” In 1909, the Middle East was 20 percent Christian; one hundred years later, that percentage has fallen to five percent.
This precipitous decline is chronicled and explained in a detailed historical video entitled Muslim Persecution of Christians, produced by the Terrorism Awareness Project. The video, which is embedded below, recounts contemporary examples of anti-Christian violence, and the Islamic theology that justifies and intensifies it.
As the video demonstrates, the resurgence of the Islamic jihad and Islamic supremacism around the world in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries can be directly correlated with the declining Christian population. As Muslims, influenced by Salafi movements to restore the “purity” of Islamic governance, reassert traditional Islamic legal stipulations mandating and institutionalizing discrimination against and harassment of Christians, Christians all over the Islamic world are feeling the heat.
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(Cross-posted at Avid Editor's Insights)