Christians, in an Epochal Shift, Are Leaving the Middle East

Source: The Wall Street Journal

By Maria Abi-Habib
An Assyrian militiaman stands guard during an Easter ceremony at the Saint John’s church in the predominantly Assyrian Iraqi town of Qaraqosh, now nearly deserted. ( Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Tanta, Egypt — Like the Jews before them, Christians are fleeing the Middle East, emptying what was once one of the world’s most-diverse regions of its ancient religions.They’re being driven away not only by Islamic State, but by governments the U.S. counts as allies in the fight against extremism.

When suicide bomb attacks ripped through two separate Palm Sunday services in Egypt last month, parishioners responded with rage at Islamic State, which claimed the blasts, and at Egyptian state security.

Government forces assigned to the Mar Girgis church in Tanta, north of Cairo, neglected to fix a faulty metal detector at the entrance after church guards found a bomb on the grounds just a week before. The double bombing killed at least 45 people, and came despite promises from the Egyptian government to protect its Christian minority.

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1 reply

  1. We have to read this in a bit of a ‘detached’ way. Christians from Jordan for instance are also leaving / have also left. However, in the case of Jordan it is not for any reason of insecurity or persecution. Christians in Jordan are free to worship. Several new churches have been built during the last few years. It is just that 50 % of all Arabs would leave if they could, mostly for economic reasons (in those countries not affected by war). Christians from Jordan for instance seem to have it a bit easier to obtain migration visas. That’s it.

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