Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Mar 27, 2003 - Religion - 215 pages
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The Middle East has dominated international news and global politics for years. From the perspective of religion, however, many Americans think of the Middle East only in terms of Muslims and Jews and are unaware of the many Christian communities living there.

Written by Betty Jane and J. Martin Bailey, two Christian pastors who have lived and worked in the Middle East for several years, this fascinating volume limns the varieties and experiences of Christians in the Middle East from Pentecost to the present.

Based on personal experience, official church documents, and extensive interviews, the book includes several introductory articles on the Middle East and Christianity, an informative timeline, a section on each Christian denomination presently active in the region, and a series of country-by-country reports on the present situation of the church and the challenges it faces. In addition to these larger discussions, the book also features several short vignettes on various people and places of special historical significance to the church in the Middle East.

For Christians wanting to be au courant on the religious dimension of the Middle East, this volume provides a superb, up-to-date survey. Having traveled extensively throughout the Middle East of late, the Baileys have continued to revise their writing to take into account current events and developments. And, by looking at the strife and struggles in the Middle East through the eyes of Christians in the region, they offer a perspective that has received scant attention in the mainstream media.

Unique amid all the Middle East literature available, "The Christians and Their Churches in the Middle Eastwill engage anyone interested in better understanding the role of Christianity, past and present, in this crucial, volatile area of the world.


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User Review  - vpfluke - LibraryThing

I've enjoyed exploring this book. There is a lot of data on the Christian presence in Middle Eastern countries. It is written somewhat from the perspective of the Middle East Council of Churches ... Read full review


A Western Christian Appreciation of Eastern Christianity
The Future of Christians in the Arab World
The Churches of the Middle East Now Work Together
The Importance of Jerusalem to Christians
A Timeline of Christianity in the Middle East
A Word about Numbers
The Origins of the Diversity of Christianity in the Middle East
The Eastern Orthodox Family
Israel and Palestine
The Maghreb North Arica
The Persian Gulf

The Oriental Orthodox Family
The Catholic Family
The Evangelical Protestant Family
The Assyrian Church of the East
A Brief History
Annotated Bibliography

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Page 4 - And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
Page 5 - Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?
Page 5 - And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Gyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs — in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power.
Page 4 - Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side.

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About the author (2003)

Betty Jane Bailey is currently a consultant to the Middle East Office of the Common Global Ministries Board, UCC/Disciples of Christ. J.

Martin Bailey is presently serving as director of development for Worldwide Faith News and as media consultant to the Hartford-based interfaith project Faith Communities Today. Both are ordained ministers in the United Church of Christ.

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