7 Things You Should Know about the Middle East Christian Genocide

7 Things You Should Know about the Middle East Christian Genocide
The following is an interview with Christian author Andreas Knapp. A poet, priest, and popular author in Germany, Knapp left a secure position as head of Freiburg Seminary to live and work among the poor as a member of the Little Brothers of the Gospel, a religious order inspired by Charles de Foucauld. Today he shares an apartment with three brothers in Leipzig’s largest housing project, and ministers to prisoners and refugees. His latest book, The Last Christians, recounts the stories of refugees in his neighborhood and of displaced people in camps in Kurdistan, northern Iraq.

Photo courteys: ©Thinkstock/Memedozaslan

1. What is a Syriac Christian?

Syriac Christians belong to very old churches that date back to the first Christian communities. They use Aramaic, the language of Jesus, in their church services and, in some cases, in daily life as well. The Syriac churches have a rich history: Their monasteries saved the philosophical, mathematical and medical handwritings of ancient Greece and Persia, and Syriac Christians translated Aristotle and Hippocrates into Aramaic and then into Arabic. As missionaries, they went as far as China, India, and the Philippines. Growing discrimination and persecution from Muslims has caused the recent decline of Syriac Christianity in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.  

 

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