Fatal lot of Christianity's homelands, by William Dalrymple 

An article by William Dalrymple, in The Australian. From Iraq to Egypt, the author of "From the Holy Mountain", gives an insight on the "Christian Winter".

The following is an extract from the article:

WHEREVER you go in the Middle East today, you see the Arab Spring rapidly turning into the Christian winter.

The past few years have been catastrophic for the region's beleaguered 14-million strong Christian minority.

In Egypt, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood has been accompanied by anti-Coptic riots and intermittent bouts of church-burning. On the West Bank and in Gaza, the Christians are emigrating fast as they find themselves caught between Benjamin Netanyahu's pro-settler government and their increasingly radicalised and pro-Hamas Sunni Muslim neighbours. Most catastrophically, in Iraq, two thirds of the Christians have fled the country since the fall of Saddam.

It was Syria that took in many of the 250,000 Christians driven out of Iraq. Anyone who visited Damascus in recent years could see lounging in every park and sitting in every teahouse the unshaven Iraqi Christian refugees driven from their homes by the sectarian mayhem that followed the end of the Baathist state. They were bank managers and engineers, pharmacists and businessmen - all living with their extended families in one-room flats on what remained of their savings and assisted by the charity of the different churches.

 

Please click here for a link to the full article.

 

William Dalrymple is the author of From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium. His new book Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839-42 will be published by Bloomsbury in February

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