Christianity In The Middle East: On The Verge Of Extinction

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by Russ Read
A general view of the bombed out St Geor
About 1.3 million Iraqi Christians have been displaced, murdered or taken prisoner since 2003. A centuries-old civilization now faces permanent extinction while the rest of the world, including the U.S. government, looks on.\

As Christians across the world begin to celebrate Christmas, the 300,000 remaining Christians displaced in Iraq and Syria are preparing for a harsh winter that will almost certainly dwindle their numbers further. ISIS has been assaulting Christianity in the Middle East for well over a year and a half, and now the few remaining will be forced to brave the elements in the face of a genocide.

“Assyrian culture is melting,” says Juliana Taimoorazy, head of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, a group dedicated to aiding Christians being persecuted in the Middle East in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Taimoorazy is making a desperate push to try and raise money to save Assyrian Christians in Iraq before winter settles in. “We want to buy caravans,” says Taimoorazy, referring to the camper-style vehicles that can serve as temporary shelters equipped with running water and electricity.

The Iraqi Christian minority, also known as Assyrian Christians, has a history in the Nineveh Plains region of Iraq going back 6,700 years. Assyrians were one of the first major groups in the region to convert to Christianity and are one of the last groups to speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Assyrians numbered 1.6 million in Iraq. With the rise of al-Qaida in Iraq and the Iraqi insurgency, their numbers began to dwindle. In 2014, less than 500,000 remained. In just over a year since its rise, ISIS has slaughtered and displaced the Assyrian Christians with brutal efficiency, cutting their numbers nearly in half to 300,000.

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