Christianity in the Middle East (CME) | Report no.1

The aim of the CME report is to present and address the main features related to Christians living in the Middle East in regard to religious plularism and peaceful coexistence. The region of focus includes Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Moreover, emphasis is attributed to the relationship between the state and its institutions with the Christian communities, as well as in pinpoiting the factors and effects related to the Christian exodus from the Middle East. The documentation of the report reflects the research openly available on the CME website and serves as a database for the living conditions of the Christians in the Middle East. The CME reports are an ongoing endeavour, aiming at providing continuous updates on the state of religious pluralism for the Christians of the Middle East. The findings presented, therefore, are not exhaustive, but highlight main trends and continuities.

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Pope Francis begins historic Iraq visit despite virus and security risks

Publication Date: 5/3/2021

Source: BBC

Pope Francis has arrived in Iraq for the first ever papal visit there, and his first international trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid and security fears have made this his riskiest visit yet, but the 84-year-old insisted he was "duty bound".

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Survey Finds Increasing Religious Diversity in Iran Despite Persecution

Publication Date: 18/2/2021

Source: Persecution

According to a recent poll conducted by a European research organization, the Iranian regime’s policy of discrimination and, in some cases, persecution of non-Shia Muslim groups may be having the effect of driving Iranians to other religions.

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Arab Christian figures rebut argument for removing US sanctions on Syria

A Jan. 21 letter claimed “unilateral coercive measures” imposed by the US have made the plight of Syrians worse
Critics of the letter say the Assads have a history of using minorities as a means to burnish their image abroad

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Russia plays up ties to Syrian Christians

Author: Khaled al-Khateb

Publication Date: 16/2/2021

Source: Al Monitor

Russia declares its support for the Orthodox Christian militias fighting alongside the Syrian regime, as it shows great interest in the ideological factor within its expansion and domination strategy in Syria.

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Christians detained for their faith in Iran paid nearly £1m in bail in 2020

Publication Date: 13/2/2021

Source: Christian Today

The cost of bail for detained Iranian Christians reached almost £1m last year, a report by human rights organisations has found.

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Iranian Christians ordered not to meet – in person or online

Publication Date: 3/2/2021

Source: Article18

Eleven Christian couples from a city just outside Tehran have been ordered by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to sign commitments to refrain from meeting together – either in person or online.

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Apologists Call Assad Secular. Assad Tells Syrians Otherwise

Boghos never expected to find himself in one of Syria’s underground dungeons.

He was a devoted Christian who opted for a literal interpretation of Romans 13:1-2, where Paul the Apostle writes, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,” and, “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.”

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Iraq: Full of Historic Sites Important to Understanding Christianity

Author: Dale Gavlak

Publication Date: 17/2/2021

Source: The Tablet

Pope Francis hopes to embark on the first-ever papal visit to the biblical land of Iraq in early March in a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts to the place known in Arabic as the “land of the two rivers” — the mighty Tigris and Euphrates — and once renowned as Mesopotamia, the “cradle of civilization.”

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Will the first Christian temple be built in Saudi Arabia?

Author: Elsie Powers

Publication Date: 13/2/2021

Source: Randrlife

Interview with BP. Paul Hinder OFMCap – From May last year. Apostolic administrator of northern Arabia.

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UAE home to 76 non-Muslim places of worship

Publication Date: 6/2/2021

Source: Khaleej Times

The UAE, which was founded on the principles of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, is home to 76 places of worship for non-Muslims.

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