28 Facts About Arab Christians


Arab Christians are ethnic Arabs, Arab nationals, or Arabic-speakers who follow Christianity.

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The majority of Arab Christians are from the Eastern Mediterranean region, although small native Christian communities can be found throughout the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.

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Arab Christians played important roles in the Nahda movement in modern times, and they have significantly influenced and contributed to the fields of literature, politics, business, philosophy, music, theatre and cinema, medicine, and science.

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Arab Christians are not the only Christian group in the Middle East, with significant Arabic-speaking Christian communities of Assyrians, Armenians and others, who do not necessarily identify as Arab.

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From classic antiquity to modern times, Arab Christians have played important roles contributing to the culture of Mashriq, in particular those in Egypt, Levant and Iraq.

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Arab Christians include the indigenous Christian communities of Western Asia who became majority Arabic-speaking after the consequent seventh-century Muslim conquests in the Fertile Crescent.

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The Christian Arab Christians presence predates the early Muslim conquests and there were many Arab Christians tribes that adhered to Christianity, beginning in the 1st century.

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Arab Christians have always been the go-between the Islamic world and the Christian West, mainly down to mutual religious affinity.

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Scholars and intellectuals agree Christians in the Arab world have made significant contributions to Arab civilization since the introduction of Islam, and they have had a notable impact contributing the culture of the Mashriq.

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Many Arab Christians today are physicians, entertainers, philosophers, government officials and people of literature.

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Many prominent Arab nationalists were Christians, like the Syrian intellectual Constantin Zureiq, Ba'athism proponent Michel Aflaq and Jurji Zaydan, who was reputed to be the first Arab nationalist.

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Melkite Greek Catholic and Maronite Arab Christians, suffered negligence from the Ottomans and a naval blockade to ports of the Eastern Mediterranean from France and Britain during the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon during World War I, which ran in conjunction with the Assyrian genocide, the Armenian genocide and the Pontian Greek genocide.

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Many Christians, including Arab Christians, were displaced or fled Syria over the course of the Syrian Civil War, however the majority stayed and continue to fight with the Syrian Armed Forces and the allied Eagles of the Whirlwind against insurgents today.

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The Carnegie Middle East Center stated that the majority of Arab Christians are more in support of the regime because they fear a chaotic situation or to be under the control of the Islamist Western and Turkish backed armed groups.

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Mass Arab Christians immigration started in the 1890s as Lebanese and Syrian people fled the political and economic instability caused by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

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Homeland of the Antiochian Greek Arab Christians, known as the Diocese of the East, was one of the major commercial, agricultural, religious, and intellectual areas of the Roman Empire, and its strategic location facing the Persian Sassanid Empire gave it exceptional military importance.

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The majority of Arab Christians are originally from Iraq, Palestine and Jordan, with a small minority having lived in Bahrain for many centuries; the majority have been living as Bahraini citizens for less than a century.

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In December 2009, 122, 000 Arab Christians lived in Israel, as Arab citizens of Israel, out of a total of 151, 700 Christian citizens.

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Arab Christians were the vanguard in terms of eligibility for higher education.

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The rate of students studying in the field of medicine was higher among the Christian Arab Christians students, compared with all the students from other sectors.

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Socio-economically, Arab Christians are closer to the Jewish population than to the Muslim population.

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Arab Christians are allotted nine out of a total of 130 seats in the Parliament of Jordan, and hold important ministerial portfolios, ambassadorial appointments, and positions of high military rank.

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Lebanese Arab Christians are the only Arab Christians in the Middle East with a sizable political role in the country.

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Lebanese Arab Christians belong mostly to the Maronite and Greek Orthodox Churches, with sizable minorities belonging to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and Armenian Apostolic Church.

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Many Palestinian Arab Christians hold high-ranking positions in Palestinian society, particularly at the political and social levels.

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Some churches have attempted to ameliorate the rate of emigration of young Arab Christians by building subsidized housing for them and expanding efforts at job training.

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Some parts of modern Saudi Arabia, such as Najran, were predominantly Christian until the 7th to 10th century, when most Christians were expelled or converted to Islam or left the region via the Sea route to Asia, with which merchant trade already existed, others migrated north to Jordan and Syria.

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Largest Christian denomination in Syria is the Greek Orthodox church, most of whom are Arab Christians, followed in second place by the Syriac Orthodox, many of whose followers espouse an Assyrian identity.

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