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Encyclopedia > Arab Christians
Arab Christians
مسيحيون عرب
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Brazil:
12,000,000+[citation needed]

Lebanon:
1,350,000[citation needed]
Syria:
843,000 [1]
Canada:
   200,000[2]
Australia:
   140,000[3][4]
Israel:
  117,000[5]
Iraq:
  5,328[6]

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ...

Religions
Christianity
Scriptures
Languages
mostly Arabic

The majority of Arab Christians (Arabic,مسيحيون عرب) live in the Middle East where, although Islam is undoubtedly the preponderant religion, significant religious minorities exist in a number of countries. The largest number of Arab Christians, whether in real numbers or in proportion to a country's population, are to be found in Lebanon, Syria, Israel (as well as the Palestinian territories) and Jordan. Emigrant Arab communities throughout the Americas, especially among the Arab populations of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and the United States, are overwhelmingly Christian. In Brazil alone, Arabs number over 12 million and are mostly Christian.[citation needed] Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... The definition of a minority group can vary, depending on specific context, but generally refers to either a sociological sub-group that does not form either a majority or a plurality of the total population, or a group that, while not necessarily a numerical minority, is disadvantaged or otherwise has... This article is about the Palestinian territories as a geopolitical phenomenon. ... Emigration is the action and the phenomenon of leaving ones native country to settle abroad. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ...

Contents

Identity

  • Not all Christians in the Arabic-speaking world consider themselves to be Arabs. They may, however, admit the word Arab differently, depending on which aspect of their identity they wish to emphasize (political, linguistic, ethnic, or genealogical). Some Lebanese (mainly Maronite) sects emphasize Lebanon's link to the ancient Phoenicians, Arameans or Mardaites.[citation needed] However, other Maronites are ethnic Arabs such as the Banu Al-Mashrouki clan of Kahlan. And the widely known noble Ghassanids that ruled the Levant in the Roman/Byzantine era.

Historically, a number of minority Christian sects that were persecuted as heretical under Byzantine rule (such as Monophysites) actually began to enjoy more religious freedom under initial Arab Muslim occupation than they had under Byzantine (Orthodox Christian) rule. For other uses, see Arab (disambiguation). ... Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܐܶ; in Syriac, Mâruniyya مارونية in Arabic) are members of an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal plain of what is now Lebanon and Syria. ... The Aramaeans, or Arameans, were a Semitic, seminomadic and pastoralist people who originated and had lived in upper Mesopotamia and Syria. ... An Aramaic-speaking group, inhabiting the highland regions of southern Anatolia, Isauria, Syria, and Lebanon. ... An Arab tribe in Lebanon. ... In the Sword of Truth fantasy series by Terry Goodkind, Kahlan Amnell is the Mother Confessor and the last Confessor. ... language|Arabic]]:الغساسنة) were [[Arab Christian|Arab it is assumed that the Ghassanids adopted the religion of Christianity from the native Aramaeans and Romans. ... The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in Southwest Asia south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and in the east, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia. ... Greek Orthodox Church can refer to any of several hierarchical churches within the larger group of mutually recognizing Eastern Orthodox churches: the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is also the first among equals of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. ... Michel ‘Aflaq Michel ‘Aflaq (1910 - June 23, 1989) was the ideological founder of Ba’athism, a form of Arab nationalism. ... Bath Party flag The Arab Socialist Bath Party (also spelled Baath or Baath; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي) was founded in 1945 as a left-wing, secular Arab nationalist political party. ... George Habash (Arabic جورج حبش) (born August 2, 1926 in Lod), sometimes known by his nom de guerre Al-Hakim, الحكيم, meaning the doctor, is a Palestinian politician, formerly a militant, and the founder and former Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Constantin Zureiq (born Damascus 1909-2000), a prominent Arab intellectual and academic, was one of the pioneering theorists of modern Arab nationalism. ... Byzantine redirects here. ... Monophysitism (from the Greek monos meaning one and physis meaning nature) is the christological position that Christ has only one nature, as opposed to the Chalcedonian position which holds that Christ has two natures, one divine and one human. ...


History

John of Damascus an Arab monk and presbyter, 7th century

The first Christian ruler in history was an Arab called Abgar VIII of Edessa, who converted ca. 200 AD[7]. Throughout many eras of history, Arab Christians have co-existed fairly peacefully with followers of the other religions of the Middle East (principally Islam and Judaism). Even after the rapid expansion of Islam from the 7th century AD onwards through the Islamic conquests (or Ghazwa), many Christians chose not to convert to Islam and instead maintain their pre-existing beliefs. As "People of the Book", Christians in the region are accorded certain rights by theoretical Islamic law (Shari'ah) to practice their religion free from interference or persecution; that was, however, strictly conditioned with first paying a special amount of money (tribute) obliged from non-Muslims called 'Jizyah' (pronounced Jiz-ya), in form of either cash or goods, usually a wealth of animals, in exchange for their safety and freedom of worship. The tax was not levied on slaves, women, children, monks, the old, the sick,[8][9] hermits, or the poor.[10] John of Damascus File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... John of Damascus File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Saint John of Damascus (Arabic: يحيى ابن منصور Yaḥyā ibn Manṣūr; Greek: Ιωάννης Δαμασκήνος/Ioannês Damaskinos; Latin: Iohannes Damascenus or Johannes Damascenus also known as John Damascene, Χρυσορρόας/Chrysorrhoas, streaming with gold—i. ... Abgar VIII or Abgarus VIII of Edessa - The first Christian ruler in history was an Arab called Abgar VIII of Edessa, who converted ca. ... Osroene (also: Osrohene, Osrhoene; Syriac: ܡܠܟܘܬܐ Ü•Ü’ܝܬ Ü¥Ü£ÜªÜ Ü¥ÜÜ¢Ü¶Ü), also known by the name of its capital city, Edessa (modern Sanli Urfa, in Syriac: ܐܘܪܗܝ), was one of several kingdoms arising from the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... expeditions led by the islamic prophet Muhammad are called Ghazwas. ... In Islamic law, jizyah (Arabic: جزْية) is a per capita tax required of adult males of other faiths under Muslim rule in exchange for the protection of the Muslim community. ...

Christian martyr Saint Abo, the patron saint of Tbilisi
Christian martyr Saint Abo, the patron saint of Tbilisi

Arab Christians predate Arab Muslims, as there were many Arab tribes which adhered to Christianity since the first century, including the Nabateans and the Ghassanids (who were of Qahtani origin and spoke Yemeni-Arabic as well as Greek), who protected the south-eastern frontiers of the Roman and Byzantine Empires in north Arabia. The tribes of Tayy, Abd Al-Qais, and Taghlib were also known to have included a large number of Christians prior to Islam. The southern Arabian city of Najran was also a center of Arab Christianity, and were made famous by virtue of their persecution by the king of neighboring Yemen, himself an enthusiastic convert to Judaism. The leader of the Arabs of Najran during the period of persection, Al-Harith, was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church as St. Aretas. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Saint Abo of Tiflis, Abo Tbileli, or Habo Tbileli (Abo/Habo of Tbilisi; in Georgian: აბო თბილელი, ჰაბო ტფილელი) (ca. ... Location of Tbilisi in Georgia Coordinates: , Country Georgia Established c. ... Petra, the Nabataean capital The Nabataeans were a trading people of ancient Arabia, whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. ... language|Arabic]]:الغساسنة) were [[Arab Christian|Arab it is assumed that the Ghassanids adopted the religion of Christianity from the native Aramaeans and Romans. ... Qahtanite (Arabic: قحطان; transliterated: Qahtan) (English: Joktan) refers to al Arab al Aribah or the aboriginal Arabs the who inhabited Yemen. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Byzantine redirects here. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Banu Taghlib or Taghlib ibn Wail (Arabic: ) were a large and powerful Arabian tribe of Mesopotamia and nothern Arabia. ... For other uses, see Arab (disambiguation). ... Najran is a province of Saudi Arabia, located in the south of the country along the border with Yemen. ... St. ...


Arab Christians have made significant contributions to Arab civilization and still do. Many of Arab literature's finest poets were Arab Christians, and many Arab Christians were physicians, writers, government officials, and men of letters.


Arab Christians today

Lebanon contains the largest number of Christians in proportion to its total population. It is believed that they made up around 45% of Lebanon's population before the Lebanese Civil War, but their percentage may be as low as 35% now (1,300,000). They belong largely to the Maronite Church, with a sizable minority belonging to the Greek Orthodox, Melkite Greek Catholic, among others. There is, however, uncertainty about the exact numbers because an official census has not been taken in Lebanon since 1932. Combatants Lebanese Front Syria LNM PLO Israel Commanders Bachir Gemayel Dany Chamoun Kamal Jumblatt Yasser Arafat Ariel Sharon The Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) was a multifaceted civil war whose antecedents trace back to the conflicts and political compromises reached after the end of Lebanons administration by the Ottoman... Maronites (Arabic: , transliteration: , Syriac: ܡܪܘܢܝܐ,Latin: Ecclesia Maronitarum) are members of one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, with a heritage reaching back to Maroun in the early 5th century. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      The... The Melkite Greek Catholic Church (Arabic: , ) is an Eastern Rite sui juris particular Church of the Catholic Church in communion with the Pope. ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1932 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In Syria, Christians formed just under 15% of the population (about 1.2 million people) under the 1960 census, but no newer census has been taken. Current estimates put them at about 10% of the population (2,000,000), due to lower rates of birth and higher rates of emigration than their Muslim compatriots.


In Jordan, Christians constitute about 7% of the population (about 400,000 people), though the percentage dropped sharply from 18% in the early beginning of the twentieth century, this drop is largely due to influx of Muslim Arabs from Hijaz after the first world war and to the low birth rates in comparison with Muslims. Nearly 70 - 75% of Jordanian Christians belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church, the other part adheres to Catholicism with small minority to Protestant churches. Christians are well integrated in the Jordanian society and have a high level of freedom. Nearly all Christians belong to the middle or upper classes. Moreover, Christians enjoy more economic and social opportunity in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan than elsewhere on the Middle East. Although they constitute less then ten per cent of the total population, they have disproportionately large representation in the Jordanian parliament (10% of the Parliament) and hold important government portfolios, ambassadorial appointments abroad, and positions of high military rank.


Jordanian Christians are allowed by the public and private sectors to leave their work to attend mass on Sundays. All Christian religious ceremonies are publicly celebrated in Jordan. Christians have established good relations with the royal family and the various Jordanian government officials and they have their own ecclesiastic courts for matters of personal status.


About 1.6% or 100,000 of Palestinians in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are Christian,[11] while four times as many Palestinian Christians, 400,000, now live in the diaspora. Both the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, George Habash, and the founder if its offshoot, the DFLP, Nayif Hawatmeh, were Christians, as is prominent Palestinian activist and former Palestinian Authority minister Hanan Ashrawi. The Palestinian flag, adopted in 1948, is a widely recognized modern symbol of the Palestinian people. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... George Habash (Arabic جورج حبش) (born August 2, 1926 in Lod), sometimes known by his nom de guerre Al-Hakim, الحكيم, meaning the doctor, is a Palestinian politician, formerly a militant, and the founder and former Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. ... The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Al-Jabhah al-Dimuqratiyah Li-Tahrir Filastin) is a Marxist-Leninist organization, which was founded in 1969 when it split from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). ... Naif Hawatmeh Naif Hawatmeh (kunya Abu an-Nuf, b. ... The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ... Hanan Ashrawi Dr. Hanan Daoud Khalil Ashrawi (born 8 October 1946 in Ramallah, Palestine) is a Palestinian Anglican scholar and political activist. ...


Arab Israeli Christians suffer much of the same discrimination and usually share the same political allegiances as Israeli Arab Muslims (e.g. Azmi Bishara, MK); and the fact that their rates of success and education are higher than Muslims in Israel must be viewed in light of the fact that this is no less the case for Israel's majority Muslim neighbors, such as Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories, where Chrisitans occupy prominent places in society disproportionate to their numbers. This is due in large part to their traditional high valuation of education - including their access to Western and church run private schools - and their historical position as an urbanized merchant class. Arab Christians' high education rates might also in part explain their disproportionate presence as early leaders of Arab and Palestinian nationalist movements.


There are tiny communities of Roman Catholics in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Most of the members in North Africa, however, are foreign missionaries or immigrant workers, while only a minority among them are converted Arabs (or their descendants) or descendants of converted Berbers, often brought to Christian (Catholic) belief during the modern era or under French colonialism. Charles de Foucauld was renowned for his missions in North Africa among Muslims, including African Arabs. The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916). ...


Many millions of Arab Christians also live in a diaspora elsewhere in the world. These include such countries as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic and the United States. Despite the common belief in the United States that "Arab" equals "Muslim", the majority of self-identifying Arab Americans are Eastern Rite Catholic or Orthodox, according to the Arab American Institute. On the other hand, most American Muslims are black or of South Asian (Indian or Pakistani) origin. There are also many Arab Christians in Europe, especially in France (due to its historical connections with Lebanon). For other uses, see Diaspora (disambiguation). ... A majority is a subset of a group that is more than half of the entire group. ... Arab Americans constitute an ethnicity made up of several waves of immigrants from 22 Morocco in the west to Oman in the east. ... The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous particular Churches in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute is a non-profit, membership organization and advocacy group based in Washington D.C. that focuses on the issues and interests of Arab Americans nationwide. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


The traditionally Roman Catholic inhabitants of Malta speak Maltese, which is derived from a variation of Arabic. However, they are not considered Arab Christians due to strong European influences over the centuries. For example, the Maltese language is written in Latin, not Arabic, script and is heavily influenced by Italian.


Doctrine

Like Arab Muslims and Arab Jews, Arab Christians refer to God as Allah, since this is the word in Arabic for "God". The use of the term Allah in Arab Christian churches predates Islam by several centuries. In more recent times (especially since the mid 1800s), some Arabs from the Levant region have been converted from these native, traditional churches to more recent Protestant ones, most notably Baptist and Methodist churches. This is mostly due to an influx of Western, predominantly American Evangelical, missionaries. This article deals with those Jewish communities indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. ... Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Baptist is... The Methodist movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity. ... Occident redirects here. ... A missionary is a propagator of religion, often an evangelist or other representative of a religious community who works among those outside of that community. ...


See also

The following list consists of concepts that are derived from both Christianity and Arab tradition, which are expressed as words in the Arabic language. ... The Lakhmids (Arabic: ) less commonly Muntherids (Arabic: ) were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah which was a fabulous city with many castles and bath-houses and Palm gardens their capital in (266). ... The Arab Orthodox are Arabic language speaking Greek Orthodox Christians who have resided in Palestine, Jordan and Israel since the Byzantine era. ... Sophronius of Jerusalem Sophronius (born 560 in Damascus - died March 11, 638 in Jerusalem) was the Patriarch of Jerusalem from 634 until his death. ... Saint John of Damascus (Arabic: يحيى ابن منصور Yaḥyā ibn Manṣūr; Greek: Ιωάννης Δαμασκήνος/Ioannês Damaskinos; Latin: Iohannes Damascenus or Johannes Damascenus also known as John Damascene, Χρυσορρόας/Chrysorrhoas, streaming with gold—i. ...

References

  1. ^ سمير عبده,الطوائف المسيحية في سوريا, نشاتها تطورها تعدادها, Page 33. (Christian Denominations in Syria, Their Emergence,Development and Enumeration, Samir Abdo, Page 33.)
  2. ^ The Canadian Arab Federation & Arab Community Centre of Toronto (1999). A Profile of Arabs in Canada. Virtual Library. Toronto Centre of Excellence. <-- This source must be verified by someone; I can't find the statistics-->
  3. ^ 2001 Census: Ancestry - Detailed paper (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics. <--This source must be checked by someone, I can't find the given numbers-->
  4. ^ Appendices to Isma. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's Publications Unit.
  5. ^ SOCIETY: Minority Communities, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  6. ^ Republic of Iraq. Operation World.
  7. ^ Shahid, Irfan (1984). Rome and The Arabs: A Prolegomenon To The Study Of Byzantium And The Arabs
  8. ^ Shahid Alam, Articulating Group Differences: A Variety of Autocentrisms, Journal of Science and Society, 2003
  9. ^ Seed, Patricia. Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World, 1492-1640, Cambridge University Press, Oct 27, 1995, pp. 79-80.
  10. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1991). The Holy Quran. Medina: King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex.
  11. ^ Don Wagner. Palestinian Christians: An Historic Community at Risk?. Palestine Center.

External links

  • Arabic Christians Community
  • Gathering Middle East Christians
  • Arab-Christian Heritage
  • Arab World Studies Notebook
  • The Arab Christians: From the Eastern Question to the Recent Political Situation of the Minorities (article)
  • The Arab Christians of the Middle East: A Demographic Perspective (article)

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