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Copts.com – The recent, simultaneous bombing of six Iraqi churches reflects the seriousness of the predicament of Arab Christians, who are trapped between the hammer of terrorists groups and extremists, and the anvil of fanatic governments that skillfully manipulate the issue of religious radicalism for their own benefit, while reinforcing religious, ethnic and sectarian discrimination among their citizens. Arab Christians live in the bosom of a racist culture that claims superiority over non-Muslims, fueled by a legacy mostly filled with violence and hatred and a history centered on strife, murder and viciousness.

Obviously, the Christians of the Middle East have lost the demographic race to the benefit of their Muslim compatriots. Their numbers continue to dwindle not just due to natural factors, but because many of them chose, or were compelled, to emigrate. Some fell victims to the constant pressures that escalated to fatal attacks. And others succumbed to the temptation to renounce their faith. The Christians of Southern Sudan were the only ones to maintain their place in that difficult contest, and though they paid a dear price, they discovered the means to achieve a realistic balance of power and face off eradication designs.

A survey of the present situation of Christians living in the Middle East demonstrates a problematic and distressing cycle: Arab Christian populations are declining, resulting in an erosion of their political power, which in turn causes their conditions to worsen and ultimately drives them out of their own homeland. This pattern is repeated throughout the region.

In Lebanon , Christians represented 50-60% of the population prior to 1975; today this percentage has declined to 25-30%. Most importantly, their political influence has severely weakened. The Lebanese emigration ministry estimates the number of emigrants at five million, more than three and a half million of which are Lebanese Christians. In the past Lebanon was known to be a safe haven for persecuted individuals who were hunted because of their religious or intellectual beliefs. Today, however, it is driving out its own children because of the Arab infringement, the Palestinian foolishness and the Syrian occupation.

The Lebanese Patriarch Nasr Allah Safir talked with LBC TV station about the Christian situation saying: “The Christians feel left out, their presence being clearly unwanted”. He commented on the injustice committed against Lebanese Christians:

” Lebanon was in a state of war, and it was the agreement of El Taef that put an end to this war, but only a partial and selective implementation of the agreement was carried out.”

The writer Mushee Maouz confirmed this statement in his book Middle East Minorities Between Integration and Dissension, with the following words:

“Since 1943, and for many decades, the Maronite Christians of Lebanon, the Shi’a, and the elite Sunni have worked together in a diverse, legal and democratic system that was controlled by minorities. However, the shift in favor of Muslim communities, Radical Arab nationalism and military Palestinian existence, as well as the Syrian and Israeli intervention ended up alienating the Maronites and forcing them to take a defensive stance.”

Iraq witnessed an increase in Christian emigration following the defeat of Sadam Hussein in the second Gulf War, as the political speech took religious tones and the economic situation continued to deteriorate. Once Baghdad fell at the hands of the Coalition troops, the fanatics came out of their dark caves and began attacking the liquor shops owned by Christians. As a result more than two hundred shops had to be closed. The attacks became more serious as they then targeted Christian women who were not veiled, Christian residences, and finally took the lives of a number of innocent Christian citizens. The final attacks targeted Christian churches during Sunday services and resulted in a large number of casualties and injuries. News reports mentioned that thousands of Iraqi Christians were forced to migrate to Syria in the aftermath of such attacks, proof enough that the so called “resistance” is nothing but another facet of the vicious terrorism that assaults innocents and ultimately seeks to ruin the new Iraqi experience.

During a few decades, the percentage of Palestinian Christians has dropped from 17% to less than 2% of the total population. The Israeli newspaper Badiut Ahrunut reported that entire neighborhoods in Beit Gala, Beit Lahm and Beit Sahur have been emptied of Christians because of the overwhelming Islamic tide that has turned the Palestinian cause into an Islamic issue, and the growing power of the fundamentalists who are imposing their rules and views on the Palestinian community. According to the BBC, the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem , who, in 1920, represented 50% of the population, currently represent a mere 10%…[Go To Full Story]