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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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Mordechai Kedar: Christians of the Middle East – Endangered Communities

The situation in Syria in the past year and a half is threatening to the Christian minority in that state as well. The Christians traditionally took part in the government of Asad, because he promised them security, as he promised other minorities. Because they are identified with Asad, they are today targets for harassment, murder, rape, robbery and looting by the Muslim majority. The anarchy that reigns in some areas allows the Muslims to break into churches, businesses of Christians and their private houses, in order to plunder and murder. It is not known how many Christians have fled from Syria, but the estimate is that between one tenth and one fifth of those who resided there until a year and a half ago, no longer do.

In the Palestinian Authority – Gaza, Judea and Samaria – the Christians suffer from built-in discrimination: the Christian library in Gaza was destroyed by fire, pressure is put on the Christian youth to convert to Islam, Muslims have taken over the houses of the residents of the Christian city Beit Jalla, which is south of Jerusalem, in order to turn them into firing positions from where they can shoot into the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo. All of its residents have fled to South America. Muslim terrorists escaped from the hands of the IDF into the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and desecrated it while taking shelter there. Lands and houses, officially owned by Churches in Bethlehem area, were forcibly confiscated by the Muslims who live in that area. About one quarter of the Christians who lived in the area of the Palestinian Authority in the past have left it.

Since the “Arab Spring” broke out toward the end of 2010, it has become clear that the Arab project of nationalism has failed, and with it, the concept of the modern Arab state is descending into oblivion. Islam, which is increasing in strength, along with growing tribalism, casts a dark, threatening shadow over the Christians in the Middle East, who come to the only possible conclusion and flee in droves from the area. The Pope related to this problem lately and expressed great concern over it.

By the way, the only state in the Middle East where the number of Christians is not decreasing is the State of Israel. Can anyone explain this?

Originally published at http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/mordechai-kedar-christians-of-middle.html

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


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