A new report suggests that barring significant interventions on the part of world powers, the Christian presence in the Middle East may disappear completely within a decade – or even sooner.
That bleak outlook comes from "Persecuted & Forgotten?" – a biannual report on Christian persecution that is produced by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, pointing out in particular the severe crisis in Syria and Iraq brought on by Islamist groups, notably ISIS, in carrying out "religiously motivated ethnic cleaning."
Todd Daniels, Middle East manager for the advocacy group International Christian Concern, agrees with the forecast. "Without massive change in the government structures and the security structures, it's hard to see how there will be a place for them in the next few years," he adds.
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Daniels tells OneNewsNow that Christians are being driven out of the region and are in search of not just a better life but any kind of life at all.
"[They're looking for] anyplace where [their] kids are going to be able to walk out the door and go to school without the fear that a sniper is going to be sitting in the street and waiting for the next person to shoot down," he says.
At the same time, explains Daniels, many churches in the Middle East have seen new people coming in who have watched the violence being perpetrated in the name of Islam.
"Whether they're from a Muslim background or atheist, they're saying If that's that religion, then I want something different," he says. "So there are many people who have turned to start investigating Christianity who haven't before."