Persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the worst ever in history

The persecution of Christians in the Middle East is accelerating and the World media is not paying attention. Christian minorities in the Islamic world are today experiencing dangers that were before unthinkable due to the growth in Islamic militancy against them.

Destroyed Church in the Middle East Jerusalem, Dec.21– Christians in the Middle East are reportedly fleeing the region as persecution against the faith continues. According to the Union of Catholic Asian News, Christians in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, the cradle of the Abrahamic faith, are increasingly experiencing kidnappings, imprisonments, discrimination, and even murder. 

The article said that before this, the Christians were working to create peace between the Shia and Sunni Muslims. They also provided schools and social services that served people, regardless of their faith.

According to the article, the Christian population is now less than 4% of the region, a stark contrast to the 20% of last century. Church destroyed in Syria

There are currently just about 300,000 Christians in Syria, according to reports. There were 1.5 million Christians in the country in 2011. The Christians are under threat from various Islamic extremist groups that harass and persecute them. They are forbiden from practicing their faith.

While the rate of exodus is slower in Iraq, a community that Christian persecution in Iraqnumbered more than 300,000 before the 2014 invasion by Daesh (ISIS) had halved to 150,000 by the Spring of 2022.

As for the Christians of Palestine, they are said to be treated as second-class citizens and are discriminated against in institutions. Earlier in October, it was reported that Palestinians have started to attack churches in Bethlehem, throwing rocks at them. In 1950, Bethlehem and the surrounding villages were 86 percent Christian. But by 2016, the Christian population dipped to just 12 Bethlehempercent and only 4% remain in the area in 2022, according to Bethlehem's mayor.

The 320 Catholic schools in Lebanon provide high-quality education to approximately 200,000 students. Ninety of these schools are supposedly co-funded by the state, but the Government stopped paying its share in 2017. Currently, the schools survive only thanks to support from organizations like Aid to the Church in Need, which provide tuition fees and subsidies for teachers, as well as funding for books and materials and the installation of solar panels, so as not to be dependent on fuel.

Lebanon's population (about 5 million) had a Catholic majority before the II World War, plus other Christian groups. It dropped to 29% nowadays. More than 800,000 Christians fled Lebanon during the last decade.

Persecution of Iranian Christians accelerated in 2021/2022 as part of a broader repressive trend. Unsurprisingly, Iran ruled by the clerical regime consistently ranks among the most dangerous – eighth in the latest ranking published by Open Doors, a non-governmental organization. Human rights violator Ebrahim Raisi, as the nation’s president, played a leading role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners during the 1980s, and “few international observers anticipated improvements” under his present leadership, “and rights’ violations continue to be widely reported.” Those abuses often take the form of raids on private, home-based churches, many of which lead to arrest and prosecution.

Even in Qatar, while the World Cup was underway, concerns about the nation’s persecution of Christians were worsening. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) released its ‘Persecuted and Forgotten’ report this month which details the state of Christian persecution worldwide and warns that Qatar’s persecution of Christians has gotten worse. ACN reported that ‘despite improvements, including removing some anti-Christian references in school textbooks, there has been a sharp rise in reports of intolerance.’

We are in the midst of a humanitarian disaster and yet the world is not listening. The media is not hearing about Christian persecution; it is not interested anymore.

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