CNEWA

Why Save the Middle East’s Christians?

My friend and colleague at The Priest magazine, Msgr. Owen Campion, recently invited me to write about the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

“Besieged! Why save the Middle East’s Christians?” is now available online.

An excerpt:

The traumatic events of last summer finally have earned Middle Eastern Christians some attention, if not quite the respect, of the strategic classes inside the Beltway: politicians, candidates, policy wonks and journalists. The headlines are dramatic, betraying a sense of hopelessness: “Beleaguered Christians Make Final Stand,” “The Middle East’s Friendless Christians,” “Christianity in Iraq is Finished.”

“Western countries ought to come together and offer refuge to the tens of thousands [of Christians] who want to leave Iraq,” one observer wrote in The Washington Post in September 2014.

“Yes, this would mean the end of Christianity in this part of the world, where its presence has often served as a bulwark against fanaticism. But it’s over anyway, whatever happens to the Islamic State. It’s time to face that fact and save the Christians themselves.”

But defending — indeed, saving — Christians in the Middle East is not just about saving Christians. It is about saving pluralism, or what remains of it, in the Middle East. It is about building prosperous civil societies. It is about saving the Middle East and civilization, where it first took root.

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