The lengthy exodus of ancient Christian congregations from the greater Middle East’s last redoubts of religious pluralism is accelerating. Terrorism, conflict, and the rise of intolerant Islamism are to blame, Vatican officials explain. There is a real fear that the light of Christian communities that was enkindled personally by the apostles of Jesus Christ could be extinguished in this vast region that includes the Holy Land. . . .This last sentence stands as a reminder that the religious freedom of many of our brothers and sisters in other lands -- non-Christians and non-believers as well as Christians -- depends on support from the "west" in general and the U.S. in particular, and that the inculcation of multicultural pieties has dissuaded us as a society from the task of championing the cause of the religious freedom.
The disappearance of living Christian communities would signal the disappearance of religious pluralism and a moderating influence from the heart of the Muslim world. . . .
Within our lifetime, the Middle East could be wholly Islamicized for the first time in history. Without the experience of living alongside Christians and other non-Muslims at home, what would prepare it to peacefully coexist with the West? This religious polarization would undoubtedly have geopolitical significance. So far, official Washington has not taken this under consideration.
Nina Shea's article is here.