Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?

By Betty Jane Bailey; J. Martin Bailey | Go to book overview

A Western Christian Appreciation
of Eastern Christianity

DAVID A. KERR

In planning this book, we were aware that many Western Christians
have negative or distorted impressions of Eastern Christianity, often
due to ignorance of the place of Eastern Christianity in the history of
our faith. We asked Professor David Kerr, a frequent visitor to the Mid-
dle East, to help Western readers appreciate the role of and gifts from
this important branch of the worldwide church
.


Calling Us Back to the New Testament

To walk through the ancient walled city in East Jerusalem is an experience I always treasure. The jostling crowds of Palestinian merchants, Christian clerics from churches strange and familiar, Muslim imams and Jewish rabbis, international tourists, intimidating and no doubt intimidated soldiers — all mingle in a bedlam that defies pious stereotypes of a holy place but brings to life the human accents of Jerusalem in the New Testament.

Then there is the stunning array of architecture: Syriac churches

David A. Kerr was Professor of Christianity in the Non-Western World at the Uni-
versity of Edinburgh, Scotland, when this essay was written. He had also served as
director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Re-
lations at Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Connecticut. At the time of his death in
2008 he was teaching missiology and ecumenics at Lund University in Sweden.

-3-

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Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • More Praise for This Book i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Our Love Affair with the Middle East- An Introduction xi
  • Part I - The Churches of the Middle East 1
  • A Western Christian Appreciation of Eastern Christianity 3
  • The Future of Christians in the Arab World 12
  • The Churches of the Middle East Now Work Together 22
  • The Importance of Jerusalem to Christians 32
  • A Timeline of Christianity in the Middle East 37
  • A Word about Numbers 44
  • Part II - Profiles of the Churches 47
  • The Origins of the Diversity of Christianity in the Middle East 49
  • The Eastern Orthodox Family 56
  • The Oriental Orthodox Family 69
  • The Catholic Family 82
  • The Evangelical (Protestant) Family 101
  • The Assyrian Church of the East 134
  • Part III - Church and State in the Middle East 139
  • A Brief History 141
  • Cyprus 145
  • Egypt 148
  • The Holy Land- Israel and Palestine 154
  • Iran 164
  • Iraq 168
  • Jordan 173
  • Lebanon 178
  • The Maghreb (North Africa) 185
  • The Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia 189
  • Sudan 195
  • Syria 199
  • Turkey 204
  • Annotated Bibliography 210
  • Index 214
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