Sunday, March 31, 2013

Where Did All the Christians Go?

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Raymond Ibrahim and Gatestone Institute

Raymond Ibrahim gives us an interesting picture of the status of Christians in the Middle East-especially with the current trials and tribulations of Egypt's Coptic Christian community.

So as we in the West all wring our hands over "Islamophobia", when do we stop to consider why Christianity and Judaism have all but disppeared from the very region where they were born (notable exception Israel)?

In the case of the Jews, even after the expulsion by the Romans from the Land of Israel, there continued to be Jewish communities in the Arab lands through the centuries, who lived in a dhimmi status-until 1948-49 when they were driven out of those countries after the creation of Israel. Almost one million people had to leave their homes often with nothing more than what they could carry. Nobody talks about them as they mourn the Arabs who left the newly-created Israel in 1948-most voluntarily upon the urging of the invading Arab armies who promised a quick return once they had driven the Jews out. Those refugees wound up in refugee camps in the neighboring countries, and there they remained unable-with the exception of Jordan- to become citizens and assimilate. They became known in the 1960s-yes the 1960s- as "Palestinians", useful pawns to the Arab world that cannot accept a Jewish state in the region.

As for the Christians, most notably, the Copts in Egypt, they have been increasingly marginalized and with the so-called Arab Spring, now find themselves in even more peril. Keep in mind that the Copts were in Egypt long before the Muslims and now make up about 10% in that country.

So why is it that in the region where the three monotheistic,  Abrahamaic faiths were born  Christianity and Judaism have all but disappeared-again with the notable exception of a greatly-threatened Israel? Could it be  despite all the claims that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance that has always co-existed with and protected its religious minorities that just the opposite is true-that it is all about warfare, conquest and persecution?

Rather than launch into another discourse on that question, I suggest the reader read the history. Read the Koran. Learn how the Koran was put together, how it is organized, and how it is interpreted by Islamic scholars. Check out those scholars and the leading schools of Islamic thought. Read the Hadith. Read about the life of the Prophet Mohammed. Follow the events in the Middle East and the Islamic world as well as what is happening in Europe today. To be sure, read all sides. Evaluate the sources. Read between the lines. Attend those interfaith meetings and asked educated and pointed questions to the Muslim representatives. Carefully scrutinize what they say.

Do the research.

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