Christian Exodus From Middle East Continues, Says Report
Fear of genocide among Christians in the Middle East has caused many to flee over the past decade. Now, according to a report by a Catholic charity published in October, 15 of 22 countries studied saw situations for Christians “worsen” since 2013.
The report said that the “period under review—October 2013 to July 2015—has been catastrophic” for many Christians in the Middle East.
Among the most crucial findings were:
As a result of this exodus, Christianity is on course to disappear from Iraq possibly within five years—unless emergency help is provided at an international level on a massively increased scale. A huge exodus of Christians from other parts of the Middle East, such as Syria, combined with increasing pressures on the [Christians] in Saudi Arabia and Iran, means that [churches are] being silenced and driven out of [their] ancient biblical heartland. … Christians have been targeted by nationalist religious movements—Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist—most of which see Christianity increasingly as a foreign “colonial” import.
In 2002, the number of Christians in Iraq was estimated to be 1 million. In 2006, the number was around 700,000. It is now below 300,000. The report estimates between 60,000 and 100,000 Christians leave each year, and “many, if not most, of those who remain want to leave Iraq.”
During the same time period, Islamic extremism has continued to grow, most dramatically with the rise of the Islamic State in 2014. Trumpet columnist Brad Macdonald noted in 2011 that “for the Vatican, the rise of militant Islam is an ideal discussion point with Europeans, millions of whom are alarmed by the encroachment of Islam on the Continent.”
Those millions of “alarmed” Europeans are now in the midst of an intense refugee crisis.
Continuing in his article “How to Make the Pope Furious,” he said:
Radical Islam has gained momentum in its war on Christianity. Don’t expect it to let up on its assault. What we should expect, however, is for the Vatican to begin to respond. …
The persecution of various Christian churches and Catholic sects (like the Coptics in Egypt) will drive these groups into the protective arms of the mother church, the Catholic Church. The more these daughter churches seek protection, the stronger the Vatican will become in defending its spiritual family.
Pope Francis has already begun using his influence to condemn the Islamic State and call for an international united front to combat Muslim terror. Expect the calls from the Vatican to unite the historically Christian Europe to protect Christians from radical Islam in the Middle East.