Christianity in the Middle East: Collateral Damage?

Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau, 12-21-11

Back in 2008 I linked to David Aikman’s commentary in Christianity Today, “Suffocating the Faithful”, about the massive migration of Christians from Iraq as a result of the US invasion.  A few days ago Doonsebury picked up the same theme and a recent Pew study on global Christianity notes that, “Although Christianity began in [the Middle East], it now has the lowest overall number of Christians and the smallest share of its population that is Christian.”

I wonder, in the early days of the war, how many American Christians were considering our Iraqi brethren and the devestating consequences of this war on their lives?

Author: David Swanson

Pastor of New Community Covenant Church in Bronzeville. Collecting signs of life.

3 thoughts on “Christianity in the Middle East: Collateral Damage?”

  1. You have underscored the most important “unintended consequence” of our invasion and one that almost no ordinary American Christians even realize, much less care about deeply enough. Some of us warned about this but no one was listening. Now that it has happened where is our concern for the kingdom of Christ and our own brothers and sisters? Perhaps this is the greatest Christian tragedy in the first decade of the new century. We missed it because love of country is so much greater than love for the global church and our brothers and sisters.

  2. Likewise, the Christian population of the Palestinian Territories of Israel have (or rather, had) a significant Christian population. Israel itself (the non-Palestinian part) has an insignificantly small number of Christian citizens/residents.

    With the walls and settlement encroachments of Israel into Palestine, the Christian population of the Palestinian Territories has largely fled–another Christian Diaspora prompted by US actions (namely, the unquestioned support of Israel against Palestine).

    The US has given so much support to Israel (understandably so, regardless of whether you agree with the policy positions). And American Evangelical Christians have by-and-large agreed with that support without a thought for the consequences to their brethren in Christ.

    I would remain completely ignorant of this issue if not for a guy who lived on my floor my Freshman year of college. He was a Christian of Palestinian descent–his parents immigrated to the US to avoid persecution in Palestine.

  3. It’s all Americas fault? Muslim terrorism has no responsibility here? Is it possible the American invasion gave the Iraqi believers the freedom to move to safety? Is it possible the highly elevated Muslim extremism rose to a level that forced a tipping point in the minds of a with a large segment of believers? Are Iraqi believers who moved out of their country now somehow less a part of God’s plan? Is there something sanctified about Iraqi saints staying on Iraqi soil? Is God against diasporas (“worst Christian diasporas”)? We all know what Trudeau is after. Are we a sucker for us cunning bash Bush ploys?

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