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Christians in the Middle East; New king in KSA

Reader comment on item: Is Sisi Islam's Long-Awaited Reformer?
in response to reader comment: Coptic Minority - A Source of Hope

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jan 23, 2015 at 08:49

Hi, Ludvikus.

Yes, Egypt has a Christian minority; but this isn't unique. Throughout the Middle East, the percent of Christians has dropped in the past 100 years from about 20% to about 5%. Main concentrations are in Cyprus (73%), Lebanon (40%), Syria (10%), Egypt (9%), Jordan (6%) and Iraq (5%)[1]. You are correct about Turkey. After the post-WWI struggle, the Greek and Armenian Christians were compelled to leave, and a comparable number of Turkish Muslims were compelled to leave the Balkans and move to Turkey. That largely ended the hostilities between the Christian and Muslim communities. Cyprus was a latecomer to this process, having been ruled by the British. They exchanged populations between the north and south of the island in the 1970s.

Concerning Saudi Arabia, they are in a coalition consisting of The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt and themselves against the anti-government Islamist groups in Libya; so everything doesn't hinge on the Saudis, whoever is their king. I expect the new ruler to carry out a similar policy to his predecessor. We'll see.

[1] SRC: CIA Factbook

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