Christians Are Leaving The Middle East.
Now, more Middle Eastern Christians live outside the region than inside it. Although Christians have lived in the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, for two thousand years, as a result of years of persecution and discrimination, especially in the past 15 years, they now constitute no more than 3% of the region’s population, down from 20% a century ago. Christians are not the only minority being discriminated against in this region, but their plight is more visible in many places, beyond what has been experienced by Yazidis, Kurds, Druze, and others. Unfortunately, given the turmoil in the Middle East and the rise of Islamic extremism, with few exceptions, Christians and other minorities may no longer be able to live in harmony with their largely Muslim neighbours. There are several factors contributing to the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East. Although sectarian conflicts in the region are not new, the 2003 Iraq War and the 2011 Arab Spring unleashed a new torrent of violence between Sunnis and Shias and against other religious minorities. In addition, the wanton persecution of religious minorities is compounded by the threat of radicalisation, which threatens social cohesion and combines religious doctrine with fanatical violence.
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