The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and survival strategies of Christian communities in Greater Syria

Author: Sotiris Roussos

Publication: Contemporary Levant

DOI: 10.1080/20581831.2021.1881719

Published online: 24 February 2021

The millet system compartmentalised religious communities into different sociopolitical environments under the overarching Ottoman imperial realm. However, during the nineteenth century, state transformation and crisis and the global re-allocation of political and economic power led to the exacerbation of ethnoreligious conflicts. Facing the collapse of the Ottoman imperium and the threat of extinction, the Greek Orthodox, Assyrian, Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox communities developed five survival strategies. The first was co-optation by state authorities; the second, protection of the Great Powers; the third armed resistance and the creation of autonomous enclaves; the fourth was that of exodus; and the last was to integrate themselves into Arab nationalism, lowering the banner of religion and becoming strong advocates of an Arab national identity encompassing Muslims and Christians alike. This paper aims to present a comparative approach to these strategies in the period from the beginning of the twentieth century to the formation of the Mandates.

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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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Christians Targeted in Turkey’s Strategy of Syria Displacements

Author: Engy Magdy

Publication Date: 28/10/2021

Source: The Tablet

There appears to be no end in sight for the suffering of Christians in North Syria, as Turkey and its allies in the region continue military escalation and bombardment, pushing remaining Christians to flee and preventing others from returning to their homes and properties.

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Vatican official: Bombs have not destroyed faith of Syria’s Christians

Author: Cindy Wooden

Publication Date: 27/10/2021

Source: Catholic News Service

While much of the world has forgotten about the war in Syria and the extreme poverty plaguing most of its people, Pope Francis has not forgotten the Syrian people and the Christians there who continue to witness to the faith, said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

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Churches in the Middle East: “Many Christians continue to serve among the refugees”

Author: Jonatan Soriano

Publication Date: 15/10/2021

Source: Evangelical Focus

Churches in Jordan and Lebanon have opened their doors to Afghan refugees, despite the crisis in their own countries. In the last decade, the Middle East has become one of the regions hosting the largest number of displaced people in the world. Most of them are from the neighbouring area, as a result of the war that has been ravaging Syria since 2011, but there are also many arriving from further afield, such as Afghanistan.

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Christian prisoners of conscience ask: ‘Where can I worship after I’m released?’

Publication Date: 27/10/2021

Source: Article 18

Three Iranian Christians serving long prison sentences for their membership of a house-church have written a joint letter and recorded video statements, asking where they should worship once they are released.

As the three Christians, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Behnam Akhlaghi, and Saheb Fadaie, point out, the churches of Iran’s recognised Christians of Armenian and Assyrian descent are not permitted to welcome Persian-speaking Christians like them, so their only option is to worship in their homes in what have become known as “house-churches”.

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Vatican cardinal visits Syria in 10th year of civil war

Author: Hannah Brockhaus

Publication Date: 25/10/2021

Source: Catholic News Agency

A Vatican cardinal is visiting Syria during the 10th year of the civil war that has devastated the country and led many Christians to flee.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, will travel to Syria from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3, after the trip was postponed from April 2020.

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Lebanon’s Christians Resist Exodus from Worst Economic Collapse in 150 Years

Author: Jayson Casper

Publication Date: 29/10/2021

Source: Christianity Today

Their middle-class salaries now worth peanuts, evangelicals struggle to maintain a faithful presence amid debate over serving God elsewhere.

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Lebanon's Christian leader Geagea in crosshairs with Hezbollah

Author: Idris Okuyucu

Publication Date: 28/10/2021

Source: Anadolu Agency

Samir Geagea believes that Lebanon will not have bright future unless Hezbollah is disarmed

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Archbishop Hanna warns of declining number of Christians in Middle East

Publication Date: 14/10/2021

Source: Middle East Monitor

The Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, yesterday warned that the number of Christians emigrating from the Middle East has reached unprecedented levels, calling to preserve this important component in the region.

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Song on Algerian radio show brings Christian minority's plight to the fore

Publication Date: 31/10/2021

Source: Global Voices

Christians in Algeria are caught in a new crisis, which many feel is reflective of the intolerance with which the Algerian state deals with Christians and their beliefs.

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