In this essay essay, Paul Merkley Discusses the extermination of Christianity in the Middle East. We present this new essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work that we have published.
The Imminent Liquidation of the Christian Population of the Middle East.
Of all the major world issues facing our elected leaders today the most urgent is the imminent liquidation of the Christian population of the Middle East. At the end of the Nineteenth Century, Christians were 13% of the population in the Middle East. Various informed estimates put their numbers today at somewhere between 3% and 1 % — and falling. The best estimate is that of the 1.4 million Christians (roughly 8% of the population) resident in Iraq in the days of Saddam Hussein, perhaps 200,000 remain. Meanwhile, nearly a third of Syria’s 600,000 Christians have fled that country.
If we fail to rescue the Christian people of the Middle East the world will see that we have no moral capital to apply to the solution of any other issue. The only plausible solution to the situation of Middle East Christians is the creation, by international agreement, within the present boundaries of Syria and Iraq, of an autonomous region, or, better still, a sovereign state, made up of the Christian people of Iraq and Syria as well the other non-Muslim minorities. Let’s call it Assyria.
The distinguished Catholic journalist George Weigel issues this warning: “Today, western politicians seem to fear that naming the genocide of Christians for what it is, or treating Christian refugees as refugees, will be taken as a gesture of disrespect for Islam. This is shameful.” (George Weigel, “ISIS, Genocide, and Us, http;//www.firstthings.com, February 20, 2016.)