Christians in the Mideast

Is the decline reversible?


The number of Christians in the Middle East has been falling for more than a century, due mainly to emigration and lower birth rates. But the decline has intensified since the early 2000s, as Christians and other religious minorities have faced increased persecution and violence due to wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the rise of extremist groups such as the Islamic State and instability following the Arab Spring democracy movements that began in 2011. Tension also has been rising between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which represent opposite sides of Islam's Sunni-Shiite divide and where religious restrictions remain among the most severe in the world. While some exiled Christians are trying to return to their old homes, experts are not optimistic that the outflow from ...

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