U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-06-2014, 10:36 PM
 
134 posts, read 442,765 times
Reputation: 93

Advertisements

There has been an exceptionally long history of Christianity in the Middle East but it is slowly becoming a victim of radical islam, poor economic conditions and civil war. What are some of the most important Christian communities in the Middle East and what can people tell me about their history?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-08-2014, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Here.
15,454 posts, read 14,034,859 times
Reputation: 18081
Christianity in the Middle East - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-08-2014, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Westeros
90 posts, read 103,336 times
Reputation: 142
LOL--but Christianity has NEVER ruled or been control of the Middle East. Or any part of it, actually. they have always been an oppressed and a late-coming minority over there, and have arguably zero claim on it. Remember that Israel is a Jewish, not a Christian nation. And even the Jews have controlled Palestine for a mere 170 or so years out of the thousands of years it has existed.

By far the biggest break Christianity ever got was when the Roman Emperor Constantine officially sanctioned the religion back in the early part of the 4th Century. The Edict of Milan a few years later inexplicably declared it to be the "official religion" of the Roman Empire.

Had this not happened, despite the heroic--though possibly misguided?--efforts of Christ's early apostles, it is likely that Christianity would never have grown to what it is today and indeed may be as popular as, say, Jainism on a global basis.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2014, 02:08 PM
 
134 posts, read 442,765 times
Reputation: 93
Ruffin_Ready...I don't even know where to start with your misconceptions about Christianity and the Middle East...but I will give it a go.

Let me first address one few of the points you actually correctly surmised. Before the exodus of Jews from what is today known as Israel, it was a Jewish nation. Post 1948 it is also a Jewish Nation. In between those two periods there was an eclectic mix of Jews, Muslims and Christians living in what is today Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Up until the independence of Israel in 1948 68% of the British mandate of Palestine was Arab of which about 77,000 were Christian as of 1920...and as of 1920 about 76,000 of the residents of Palestine were Jewish.

So lets just get to the "LOL" part where you think you are a rather clever fellow saying that "Christianity NEVER ruled or been control of the Middle East"...well factually speaking that just isn't correct. As a matter of fact several in several distinct era's and locations Christians did have control of their own political affairs and controlled their own locales...maybe not "control of the middle east" although only the Ottoman Empire can really claim that they did that in the first place. Let me just name a few...

Byzantine Empire
Ghassanid Empire
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
Lebanon arguably up to present times since the president is required to be a Maronite Christian

These are the only ones I could think of off the top of my head and are probably 4 of the best examples of Christians as always being an "oppressed and late-coming minority" over there. FYI the Assyrians and Armenians were the first two "nations" to convert wholesale to Christianity and that was 6 centuries before Islam became a thing...and for about 2,000 years there was a minor, minuscule, insignificant Jewish population in the Middle East who never controlled their own destiny. So i'm not sure what kind of point you are trying to prove about Christianity being a "late-coming" and having "arguably zero-claim" to the middle east...not to say they have a "claim" to anything, but they have arguably as much claim as any other ethno-religious group in the region to being involved in the political process of their respective nations.

To rebut one additional point of yours it is true that without Emperor Constantine sanctioning Christianity as the official religion of Rome it probably would have been a marginal/fringe religion...but isn't hasn't literally EVERY religion on EARTH experienced similar breaks? Imagine is Muhammad had been killed or beaten at the battle of al-badr, or the UN/Western nations hadn't supported and financially backed the creation of an independent Israel? just two cases where the outcome of a specific situation had far reaching implications for those ethno-religious groups.

Having said that I know a great deal about the history of the Middle East, I was just hoping some people on here might be able to offer some further insight into what I already know since I am always looking to learn something new about the region and its history.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2014, 03:57 AM
 
1,161 posts, read 2,130,331 times
Reputation: 2588
I remember my first trip to Istanbul, being absolutely amazed by the history of the place before a sad sense of melancholy fell upon me. That once great and majestic Byzantine empire had been wiped off the face of the earth and nearly a millennia of a distinctive cultural and artistic heritage had crumbled to nothing more than a few frescoes, ruins or old churches. At their peak the Byzantines had ruled a large empire that included all of the Levant down into Egypt and much of North Africa. For several centuries this was solidly Christian lands and a christian heritage that was quite distinct from the Catholic Christianity of western Europe. Has any empire achieved such splendors before total destruction and reduced to an almost forgotten state, it's cities now home to an invading population with fundamentally different values and its great monuments destroyed or converted to alien uses? Rome certainly fell, but its spirit still survives in the modern West. The Byzantines not only fell, but were completely wiped out whether by the force of weapons or cultural conversion.

I periodically wonder what the world be like had the Byzantines survived, or at least held on to what is now modern day Turkey?

Anyway, despite what Ruffian claims, there were sizable Christian populations across much of the Islamic Middle East, existing as a minority group similar to the Jews. Egypt still retains a sizable Christian minority. Jordan once had a large Christian minority. But the numbers are rapidly decreasing through migration. Despite the long Islamic dominance of the region, it's really only been the past 50 years that Christians have started disappearing from vast stretches of the Middle East.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2014, 05:49 AM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,608,412 times
Reputation: 37885
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweendog024 View Post
There has been an exceptionally long history of Christianity in the Middle East but it is slowly becoming a victim of radical islam, poor economic conditions and civil war. What are some of the most important Christian communities in the Middle East and what can people tell me about their history?
Below are two links regarding Christianity in the Mideast. Neither are the one I was looking for. It discusses ancient manuscripts which point to a connexion between very early Christianity in Mesopotmania and the Jewish community there. Much of this based on variations in the Book of Psalms which existed between western and eastern Jews in this era, and which is reflected in the various Christian Bibles of the Mideast.

Nevertheless, these two links may be of interest.

BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: Lost and Hidden Christianity

BBC News - Guide: Christians in the Middle East
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2014, 07:02 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,412 posts, read 1,316,724 times
Reputation: 2184
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweendog024 View Post
Ruffin_Ready...I don't even know where to start with your misconceptions about Christianity and the Middle East...but I will give it a go.

Let me first address one few of the points you actually correctly surmised. Before the exodus of Jews from what is today known as Israel, it was a Jewish nation. Post 1948 it is also a Jewish Nation. In between those two periods there was an eclectic mix of Jews, Muslims and Christians living in what is today Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Up until the independence of Israel in 1948 68% of the British mandate of Palestine was Arab of which about 77,000 were Christian as of 1920...and as of 1920 about 76,000 of the residents of Palestine were Jewish.

So lets just get to the "LOL" part where you think you are a rather clever fellow saying that "Christianity NEVER ruled or been control of the Middle East"...well factually speaking that just isn't correct. As a matter of fact several in several distinct era's and locations Christians did have control of their own political affairs and controlled their own locales...maybe not "control of the middle east" although only the Ottoman Empire can really claim that they did that in the first place. Let me just name a few...

Byzantine Empire
Ghassanid Empire
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
Lebanon arguably up to present times since the president is required to be a Maronite Christian

These are the only ones I could think of off the top of my head and are probably 4 of the best examples of Christians as always being an "oppressed and late-coming minority" over there. FYI the Assyrians and Armenians were the first two "nations" to convert wholesale to Christianity and that was 6 centuries before Islam became a thing...and for about 2,000 years there was a minor, minuscule, insignificant Jewish population in the Middle East who never controlled their own destiny. So i'm not sure what kind of point you are trying to prove about Christianity being a "late-coming" and having "arguably zero-claim" to the middle east...not to say they have a "claim" to anything, but they have arguably as much claim as any other ethno-religious group in the region to being involved in the political process of their respective nations.

To rebut one additional point of yours it is true that without Emperor Constantine sanctioning Christianity as the official religion of Rome it probably would have been a marginal/fringe religion...but isn't hasn't literally EVERY religion on EARTH experienced similar breaks? Imagine is Muhammad had been killed or beaten at the battle of al-badr, or the UN/Western nations hadn't supported and financially backed the creation of an independent Israel? just two cases where the outcome of a specific situation had far reaching implications for those ethno-religious groups.

Having said that I know a great deal about the history of the Middle East, I was just hoping some people on here might be able to offer some further insight into what I already know since I am always looking to learn something new about the region and its history.
I also am a bit frustrated at people making completely incorrect statements, especially in the history forum. Either they are too rushed to take two minutes to do a simple google search or they are just trying to stir up emotions with blatantly false statements. I thinks those kinds of statements are better suited to the "Great Debates" forum.

Anyway, to refute the statement that "Christianity had never been in control of the Middle East", most of what is now Israel, including Jerusalem, was under Christian control during the time of the Crusades. Jerusalem was taken after a siege in 1099. One note about the end of that siege, was that the christian crusaders massacred a significant percentage of the population, both Muslim and Jewish, once they broke through the walls. Even after the Muslim forces retook Jerusalem, sections of the Middle East remained in Christian control for some time afterwards.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2014, 07:11 AM
 
2,847 posts, read 2,464,689 times
Reputation: 579
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweendog024 View Post
There has been an exceptionally long history of Christianity in the Middle East but it is slowly becoming a victim of radical islam, poor economic conditions and civil war. What are some of the most important Christian communities in the Middle East and what can people tell me about their history?
- Catholics.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2014, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Westeros
90 posts, read 103,336 times
Reputation: 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweendog024 View Post
Ruffin_Ready...I don't even know where to start with your misconceptions about Christianity and the Middle East...but I will give it a go.

Let me first address one few of the points you actually correctly surmised. Before the exodus of Jews from what is today known as Israel, it was a Jewish nation. Post 1948 it is also a Jewish Nation. In between those two periods there was an eclectic mix of Jews, Muslims and Christians living in what is today Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Up until the independence of Israel in 1948 68% of the British mandate of Palestine was Arab of which about 77,000 were Christian as of 1920...and as of 1920 about 76,000 of the residents of Palestine were Jewish.

So lets just get to the "LOL" part where you think you are a rather clever fellow saying that "Christianity NEVER ruled or been control of the Middle East"...well factually speaking that just isn't correct. As a matter of fact several in several distinct era's and locations Christians did have control of their own political affairs and controlled their own locales...maybe not "control of the middle east" although only the Ottoman Empire can really claim that they did that in the first place. Let me just name a few...

Byzantine Empire
Ghassanid Empire
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
Lebanon arguably up to present times since the president is required to be a Maronite Christian

These are the only ones I could think of off the top of my head and are probably 4 of the best examples of Christians as always being an "oppressed and late-coming minority" over there. FYI the Assyrians and Armenians were the first two "nations" to convert wholesale to Christianity and that was 6 centuries before Islam became a thing...and for about 2,000 years there was a minor, minuscule, insignificant Jewish population in the Middle East who never controlled their own destiny. So i'm not sure what kind of point you are trying to prove about Christianity being a "late-coming" and having "arguably zero-claim" to the middle east...not to say they have a "claim" to anything, but they have arguably as much claim as any other ethno-religious group in the region to being involved in the political process of their respective nations.

To rebut one additional point of yours it is true that without Emperor Constantine sanctioning Christianity as the official religion of Rome it probably would have been a marginal/fringe religion...but isn't hasn't literally EVERY religion on EARTH experienced similar breaks? Imagine is Muhammad had been killed or beaten at the battle of al-badr, or the UN/Western nations hadn't supported and financially backed the creation of an independent Israel? just two cases where the outcome of a specific situation had far reaching implications for those ethno-religious groups.

Having said that I know a great deal about the history of the Middle East, I was just hoping some people on here might be able to offer some further insight into what I already know since I am always looking to learn something new about the region and its history.

You actually spent a long time helping me make my point with:

As a matter of fact several in several distinct era's and locations Christians did have control of their own political affairs and controlled their own locales...maybe not "control of the middle east" although only the Ottoman Empire can really claim that they did that in the first place."

Possessing a degree of autonomy insofar as practicing politics and religion does not, as you said, constitute control. If I recall, even the Romans let the Jews pray in the synagogues and elect their own political council--the Sanhedrin--when the ruled Palestine.

You also named several other Empires in your example: Byzantine; Ghassanid; Aremnian when opining the Jews had control. Hmm....if so, why were none of those named the Jewish or the Hebrew Empire?

Isn't this contradictory to your point? I guess I'm a bit confused?

As far as my (and a ton of other religious historians') opinion that Christianity was handed a momentous stroke of fortune when Constantine converted: just because some other religions also had lucky breaks doesn't mean I wrong about the primary reason for the Christian explosion.

Last edited by Ruffin_Ready; 10-11-2014 at 02:07 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2014, 02:53 PM
 
134 posts, read 442,765 times
Reputation: 93
It really does sound like you are confused...first off the Byzantine Empire, Ghassanid Empire, and Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia were all Independent Christian States, not Hebrew states. They were not autonomous, they were independent nations with their own militaries, kings/emperors and controlled large pieces of the middle east. I will reiterate that these were Christian states, with Christian leaders and Christian subjects...they were not Jewish in any way, shape or form.

The Sanhedrin was very, very limited in its scope and was really more similar to the Millet system set up by the Ottomans for the governance of all of the diverse array religious and ethnic groups that lived in the Ottoman Empire...these were more of autonomous regions within the Ottoman Empire, such as Mount Lebanon, the Arabian Peninsula, etc. The millet system was very effective, and very similar to the system that the Romans used to govern the Roman Empire. What both of them did was allow the local aristocracy to enforce local laws and traditions, while ultimately answering to the local governor. In certain areas the local aristocracy was heavily Christian. See Nineveh plains in Northern Iraq, Mount Lebanon, Ramallah, and large portions of Eastern and Northern Anatolia as well as the Aegean coastline. That being said the small Jewish population existing in the Middle East at the time was also represented by a Millet.

My point about the momentous stroke of fortune for the Christians when Constantine converted was not to say that it wasn't massively influential in the course of history. Of course it was. I readily agree with the point you made. However you stated that Christians NEVER had control of the middle east and have always been a marginal and oppressed group. This simply isn't true. I gave you notable names of independent states that were led by Christian's who ruled and represented a largely Christian population. On the other hand there was not a single independent Jewish state in the middle east from 63 AD when Judea was conquered by the Romans until 1948 when Israel was recognized as an independent nation. To say that Christians have less of a claim to the middle east than people following the Jewish religion is disgustingly inaccurate, also to say that they are "late-coming" is also absurd considering their 2,000 year presence in the region. Finally I like to add that I don't think that any group has a "claim" on a region because of their religious affiliation. But the history of the region is fascinating, particularly regarding the demographic transitions that have occurred over the past couple of hundred years.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:46 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top