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ICC Note: Islamic radicalism has reached a dangerous tipping point throughout the Middle East in its persecution of Christians. Now, Mosul stands completely emptied of its Christian population. Over the past 10 years, over half of the Christian population has left Syria and Iraq. Egypt continues to arrest Christians for blasphemy. The Coptic Church still faces persecution at the hands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Kidnappings, lootings, and even murder threaten the very existence of Christianity in the Middle East. As Christians are continuously faded out from countries like Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey, the very existence of Christianity is at risk for survival.

07/28/14 Middle East (Al-Monitor News) – More than 60 years after the collapse of the Jewish element in the Arab region and most of the Muslim world (because of the establishment of Israel), the Christian element of today — larger in numbers than the Jewish one ever was — is, for the first time, entering a whirlwind which threatens its existence. This is because of Islamic fundamentalism.

There are two main turning points for the demographic change in modern times which transformed the identity of our Arabic societies, as well as some Muslim ones.

The first is the establishment of Israel, which made our societies almost completely lose the Jewish element. The Jewish groups were an organic part of our Arab lives in Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Syria and Iraq, as well as in Iran and somewhat in Turkey. The deep tension that followed the establishment of Israel by expelling the Palestinians caused the Jewish existence to gradually fade out of the Arab environment. Its existence in light of such a violent conflict has become impossible for many reasons.

The second is the situation of the past 10 years, after the Iraqi change and the Syrian outbreak. Syrian and Iraqi interference is the second turning point which could lead to an imminent loss of the Christian element in Syria and Iraq (not to mention the fact that the Christian element is fading out of Israel and the regions it occupies).

If the rise of Zionism is responsible for the historic course of the Jewish element in our societies, then the rise of Islamic fundamentalism is responsible for the situation of Christians today. In the face of this catastrophic deterioration, what is the point of talking about “moderate fundamentalism” and “extremist fundamentalism?”

During the past 30 years, it has been made very clear that extremist fundamentalism was born from the womb of what is now called “moderate” fundamentalism. Here lie the common responsibilities of the Muslim and Christian elites in the region: to find a way out of this fundamentalism which is uncontrollably spreading in our societies and countries, not only politically but also socially, culturally and economically.

The Coptic Church in Egypt has entered, for the first time, a struggle over the identity of the Egyptian government and has clearly sided with the movement opposing the Muslim Brotherhood.

The currently democratic Turkish government, due to the circumstances under which it was created in early 1920s, led the Greeks and Armenians to fade out of Anatolia. It also led most Christians to fade out of the region due to the religious background of the Turkish (Muslim) conflict with the Greeks and Armenians (Christians). … This Turkish government is structurally insensitive to Christian existence in the region and has long forgotten this time-honored tradition which survived until the end of the Ottoman Empire.

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