May 2, 2013
(Mat 5:11-12) Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
NCR: Peres Tells Pope: Middle East is "Disintegrating"
BBC: Syria's beleaguered Christians
EXCERPT SPECIAL ACN REPORT: Plight of the Christians of the Middle East
Data and numbers:
A. No official reliable census has been made in all the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, figures below are given on estimate basis and from relevant sources in respective churches.
• The Holy Land, birth place of Jesus Christ and Christianity has only few thousand Christians left there; many of whom are looking for a better life condition elsewhere to relocate. The last estimate given by a church official in Jerusalem is around 50,000 faithful.
• Egypt: No one can tell the exact figure of Egyptian Christians, especially Copts, even their Church can’t. Copts say it is up to 15 million while sources in the Egyptian government say it is only 6 million…. Copts have no role in public life, and are generally treated as 2nd class citizens.
• Iraq has lost the majority of its Christians since 2003, only an estimated 500,000 are left as per the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) many of whom has escaped to the northern part of the country or are awaiting resettlement into western countries.
• Lebanon, due to repeated wars and political instability, and although it is the only Arab country where Christians have enough freedom and could be high positioned in the government, has lost well over half a million of its Christians during the last 30 years. They make up, based on official statistics, around 33% of the population.
• Syria’s Christian population is estimated at around 10% of the 22 million. Although they have known a relative stability during the Assad regime, many of them have already fled the country. What will happen next???
• Iran pretends allowing the Christian minority a certain freedom, but the mostly Armenian community that has lost its 2/3 continues to live on a borrowed time not knowing what tomorrow will bring along.
• In Jordan an estimated 300,000 Christians live freely till now.
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