End of Christianity in the Middle East?

The Archbishop of Canterbury is of the view that we may be seeing the end of Christianity in the Middle East.

Christians have a hard time in countries like Saudi Arabia. Where they were left alone, if not exactly allowed to flourish, was in Iraq under Saddam Husein. There were even Christians in the Government, folr example Tariq Aziz was a Christian. Prior to the illegal war on Iraq by war criminals Blair and Bush, Christians were 3% of the population, now they account for half of all refugees.

The irony is that the illegal war on Iraq was led by two self-professed Christians. A Christianity that the Archbishop of Canterbury admits that he does not recognize.

Since the illegal war there has been a wave of sectarian blood-letting. Although little reported, it has been the tiny Christian community that has borne the brunt of the brutality and killings. There is not a family that has not had a family member killed.

The killing is being led and instigated by Muslim extremists, many of whom are not Iraqis. The problem has been exacerbated by American evangelists earning a few brownie points converting Muslims to Christianity. Had these foreign meddlers understood Holy Scripture and the words and actions of Jesus, they would have seen it was for followers to come to him.

The Christians of Iraq were founded by two of the disciples. Their church dates from the 1st century AD. They are not an imported or alien religion to Iraq. It was half a millennium later when the Muslim hordes swept into Iraq and converted Christians to Islam. Those who refused to convert were second-class citizens, barred from public life and forced to pay a tax. This tax is once again being reintroduced and the Christians treated as second-class citizens.

The language spoken by the Iraqi Christians is Aramaic. The language spoken by Jesus and his contemporaries. They are a branch of the Roman Catholic Church but receive little or no support from the Vatican. One of the churches provides free health care for all, the money coming from private donations.

The Christians are not the only religious group that are facing persecution. Close cousins of the Christians, the Mandaeans, are followers of John the Baptist. They renounce any form of violence, including bearing arms. Every Sunday they baptize themselves in the river. Fine in Iraq, but damn cold if you are a refugee in Sweden.

An even smaller group facing persecution date back 6,000 years to the time of Noah.

Also see

Iraq’s Forgotten Conflict

Eyewitness Iraq

Occupation and Resistance in Iraq

The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq by Christian Parenti

Iraq: A Journey of Hope and Peace by Peggy Gish

The Grand Inquisitor

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One Response to “End of Christianity in the Middle East?”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Iraq’s forgotten conflict broadcast on Tuesday 6 April 2010 at 2000 BST (1900 GMT), repeated Sunday 11 April 2010 at 1700 BST (1600 GMT).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rt9rm

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