The presence of some of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East is under threat from relentless persecution. In Palestine some Christians are worn down by the occupation and many move abroad. Palestinian Christians make up 1-2.5% of the population in the West Bank and less than 1% in Gaza (2015 figures). In May 2019, the Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan spoke in the UK about the vanishing Christian community in Iraq. The numbers of Christians in Iraq have diminished from 1.5 million in 2003, to just 250,000 today.
- Lord Jesus, we cry to you as we hear of the weakening of the Christian community in the Middle East after so many years of persecution. Lord, even in your birthplace the number of local worshippers declines. We pray that you will strengthen and encourage all those who seek to remain in the Middle East to continue to witness and to minister to others. Lord, in your name…hear our prayers.