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Christianity In The Middle East

CHRISTIANITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST In the region where Christianity was born, the religion is experiencing a decline. Pope Francis has said that Christians "suffer particularly from the consequences of the tensions and conflicts underway" in the Middle East, and local church officials blame emigration due to violence, as well as job and housing opportunities elsewhere, for the low percentage of Christians remaining. PERCENT OF CHRISTIANS IN Percent of population that is Christian, 2010 <1% 1.1-5% 5.1-10% 10-20% >20% REGION HAS DECLINED BY Sites of historical importance to Christianity HALF OVER THE LAST OCENTURY Followers of Jesus were first called Population of Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories and Syria, 1900 and 2010 Christians in the ancient city of Antioch LEBANON Christians believe St. Paul converted Christian population: 5% WEST BANK AND GAZA SYRIA to Christianity on the road to Damascus KUWAIT ISRAEL IRAQ Christian population: 10% 2010: 148.9M JORDAN UNITED ARAB BAHRAIN EMIRATES QATAR EGYPT 1900: SAUDI ARABIA 15.8M OMAN Jesus is believed to have been born in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and crucified in Jerusalem YEMEN NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS HAS GROWN, BUT NOT MUCH Church officials blame emigration (often due to violence or for economic reasons) and low birth rates among Christians, compared with other religious groups, for the slow growth. Meanwhile, total population in the region has increased tenfold, much of it Jewish and Muslim. Population of Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories and Syria, in millions 30 60 90 120 150 1910 1.6 14.2 Non-Christians Christians 1950 1970 2000 2010 7.5 141.4 CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN DISPLACED BY VIOLENCE AND RESTRICTIONS Many Christians are among those displaced by violence in the Middle East, and in countries with ongoing conflict, they are often targets of persecution and violence. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, as many as two-thirds of the Christian population fled their homes – many first to the Kurdish northern region of Iraq, then to neighboring countries. In Syria, about 450,000 Christians have been displaced since March 2011 by the country's civil war. Egypt's narrative is similar, where about 93,000 Coptic Christians left the country in 2011 alone, and continue to face targeted attacks on churches. 80% Local Catholic church authorities estimate that about 80 percent of Palestinian Christians live abroad. Palestinians, SYRIA EGYPT IRAQ 2010 Christian 2010 Christian 2003 Christian population: 1M population: 4.1M population: 1.5M Christian and Muslim alike, face restrictions on where they can live, work and travel in Israel About About About and the Palestinian 450,000 93,000 1 million territories of Gaza and the West Bank. Many Palestinians also live as refugees in neighboring countries Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Coptic Christians left Egypt in 2011 Christians have been Christians have displaced since 2011 fled Iraq since 2003 Sources: Pew, Associated Press, The New York Times, PBS, The Jerusalem Post, Voice of America THE HUFFINGTON POST

Christianity In The Middle East

shared by alissascheller on May 23
Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land on May 24 has highlighted an increasing exodus of Christians from the Middle East, the very region that gave birth to the religion. The percentage of Christians...




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