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The Precarious State of Middle East Christians

Ruins of a church in Aleppo, Syria (Photo: flickr/andrea_campi)

Being the sole democracy in the Middle East, Israel allows people of all faiths to worship, including Christians. Christian communities elsewhere in the region are not so fortunate. The Weekly Standard's Lee Smith talks to an expert on Middle East Christians about their current situation and what the future holds:

At the time of the Second Intifada, 2000-2005, it became increasingly evident that Palestinian Christians felt vulnerable. They had been an instrumental part of the Palestinian national movement, but the character of Palestinian nationalism shifted in a more Islamic direction during those years. The Christians told me that they felt like strangers in their own land, and began to leave by the thousands. I was told by Christians in Bethlehem that if the emigration kept going at this pace, no Christians would be left in a couple of decades...

In Iraq, Christians were caught in the middle during the war. It's worth remembering that the Christians in Iraq where not a part of the civil war and had no armed militias. They were left more or less unprotected. Both Shiites and Sunnis would kill or kidnap Christians...

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