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ICC Note:

Christian Populations in the Middle East have been decimated by the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. There are now more Arab Christians living outside of the Middle East than there are in the region. Christians are an integral part of Middle Eastern politics, their disappearance will mean that Muslim sects could clash deepening radicalism in the region. This could potentially have a destabilizing effect on the region and produce more conflict. Thus, governments in the Middle East should invest in protecting their Christian minority to avoid a geopolitical  disaster.

07/09/2017 Middle East (Assyrian International News Agency) – The Christian population in the Middle East is being decimated. Repeated attacks by Muslim extremist groups along with indifference by Middle Eastern governments have resulted in this religious minority fleeing their historical homelands in record numbers. But it is not only Christians who will suffer if this exodus continues: It will eventually result in loss of Muslim lives as well, since Christianity has been a positive influence for centuries in the region.

Maria Abi-Habib, a Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in May: “The exodus (of Christians, and Coptic Christians particularly) leaves the Middle East overwhelmingly dominated by Islam, whose rival sects often clash, raising the prospect that radicalism in the region will deepen.

“Conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims have erupted across the Middle East, squeezing out Christians in places such as Iraq and Syria, forcing them abroad” to Europe, the US and elsewhere.

While stories of how good Christians had it in Iraq before the US-led invasion in 2003 may be exaggerated, it can’t be ignored that Saddam Hussein kept Islamic extremists at bay during his reign. According to some estimates, in 2003 there were roughly 1.5 million Iraqi Christians, and today there are only 300,000.

The current chaos in Syria has brought similar results for Christians in their historical homeland. In 2011 there were reportedly 2.5 million Syrian Christians, and today that number has been cut in half. Syria is a disaster for Christians and Muslims alike.

 

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