Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?

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

The Evangelical (Protestant) Family

An Introduction to the Evangelical Family

The Eastern churches did not experience the sixteenth-century Reformation that resulted in the great diversity of Protestant churches in the West; nor were they impacted by the religious fervor and mission movements of these churches until the early nineteenth century, when Western missionaries became active in the Middle East. Those who responded to the biblical teaching of the missionaries became known as injiliyyeh (pronounced in-jee-lee-ah), an Arabic term sometimes translated as “evangelists” and derived from the word for gospel or evangel. Some of these injiliyyeh were adherents of the historic Eastern churches who were impressed by the testimonies, personal devotion, and daily example of the men and women who had left their homelands to express their faith. The Protestants of the Middle East therefore became known as “Evangelicals,” which does not refer to a conservative theology, as it does in the West, but to their response to the gospel.

Protestant mission societies brought with them a commitment to open schools and hospitals and to provide social services. These institutions have contributed greatly to the welfare of both Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the mission agencies also brought their own divisions, and the missionaries found it difficult to understand the ancient churches. In many cases, they were all too willing to begin new churches. Even though membership is small in numbers as compared to the ancient churches, the Protestant churches need to be discussed individually.

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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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