Once a majority, Christians are now struggling to hang on in the Middle East Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Middle East

Marginalization of Christians in the Islamic World

Fact: The Mideast and North Africa were majority-Christian-lands for centuries before the Muslims invaded and Islamicized the region


Editor’s note: The author is especially qualified to speak to this subject as a professing Christian living in a majority-Muslim country in the MidEast.


After occupying Iraq, Syria and Egypt, it took the Muslims another 1,000 years to establish a dominant and permanent Islamic culture.

Some 100 years after the emergence of Islam, no more than 200,000 Syrians (6% of the population) had converted to the new religion. And most of them did so for economic reasons. The jizya, the higher tax paid by non-Muslim residents of a Muslim country , compelled many poor Christians to embrace Islam.

In Egypt, the Muslim conquerors established a government based on Islamic Sharia Law. The jizya imposed by this new Islamic regime was so heavy that it lead to the first big wave of conversion to Islam. By 705 AD, Christians had dropped to just 22% of the population and Arabic had become the official language. Thus the Islamization of Egypt was complete.

Iraq was the richest country in the region, and Christians there held important...


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