Christians in “Arab Spring”
By Vestnik Kavkaza
The number of Christians in the Arab world before the events of the "Arab spring" was about 15 million. They belong to the 28 Christian denominations, which can be roughly divided into three groups: the Eastern Christian, Uniate (Eastern Catholic) and Western Christian.
Eastern Christian churches are of local origin, preserving their independence. These include the Coptic Church, the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, the Syrian Orthodox Church (Syro-Orthodox, or Syro-Jacobite), the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church, the Nestorians and others. The adherents of the Eastern churches are living mostly in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.
Uniates (Eastern Catholics) are in faith-based organizations, where participants at different times separated from the Eastern Christian churches, and entered a union with the Roman Catholic Church. These include: the Maronite Church, the Greek-Catholic, Chaldean, Syriac Catholics, Armenian Catholics, etc. The largest Uniate communities live in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.
The Western Christian churches are Christian churches and religious organizations of Western European and North American origin of two directions - Roman Catholic and Protestant. Large communities of these branches of Christianity live in Lebanon and Kuwait.
Egypt, Syria and Lebanon are home to nearly three-quarters of the Arab Christian population.
“As director of the foundation "Christian Solidarity Worldwide" for the past few years I have been engaged in the increasing problem of the cases of persecution of Christians motivated by religious hatred in the Arab world. Last year I visited the Arab Republic of Syria and I have seen firsthand the destruction of Christian churches and monasteries, talking to ordinary Christians of Syria who have been harassed by the rebels who took up arms against the civilian population and the legitimate authority,” Dmitry Pakhomov, board member of the Association of Social Organizations «Christian Defense», says. “Now we are forming a delegation to travel to Lebanon and Syria from the representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of public organizations of Russia. This delegation must visit Lebanon in September, then it will go to Syria to visit those areas, if it is allowed for security reasons, which are now exposed to the militants. We hope that by this time some stability will prevail, and the government forces will be able to restore order. Also, our foundation opens office in Lebanon, in Beirut, which has already been agreed. We continue to work. Here in Russia, by the way, the problem of Christian refugees is also very relevant, and given the fact that we need to solve this problem, we created a Union of Public Organizations "Christian Defense." Our goal is to help the Christians here in Russia, at all levels. We have appealed to the President of the Russian Federation asking to instruct the FMS to prepare a single register of all Christian refugees to provide them with targeted assistance.”