The Disappearance of Christianity from the Middle East

It has been nearly thirty years since the beginning of the first Gulf War (which I supported. I also supported the second Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan.)

Over that period, Christianity in the Middle East has largely disappeared.  At least a thousand churches have been destroyed in the region.  Tens of thousands of Christians have been killed, and many more have left the region as refugees.

In 1987, there were 1.4 million Christians in Iraq (7% of the total population of 20 million). Today, 80% of those Christians are gone. In other, less war-torn areas, the picture is not AS bleak, but it’s a difference of degree.

War creates instability, and minorities are always imperiled during unstable times.

War prompts people to pick sides, and pluralism is always a casualty.

Pluralism is important, because pluralism guarantees minority rights.  Pluralism allows us to live together even though we disagree without hating, fighting, killing each other.

War creates instability. Instability gives violent ideologues space to operate and grow their movements without interference. Prolonged foreign interference = prolonged foreign presence, which brings a whole new world of problems.

Read this heartbreaking essay in The Atlantic; “Iraqi Christians Face an Impossible Choice”.

How can American Christians better support their brothers and sisters in the Middle East?

Aside from foreign policy implications, what are the implications for our thinking about missions?  

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