Forsaken: Persecution of Christians in Today’s Middle East


Across the Middle East, Christian communities find themselves the victims of widening repression: massacres, expulsions, and brutally enforced restrictions on the right to worship have all become commonplace. Such persecution has now reached the point where, in the region that was once its birthplace, Christianity's very existence is under threat.

In Iraq, the Christian population has withered from well over one million to just 300,000. In Syria, where the word "Christian" was first coined more than two millennia ago, at least half a million Christians, one third of the total, have fled their homes. In Egypt, where the Coptic Church, with its seven million adherents, is as old as the Church of Rome, Christians are emigrating in waves after being squeezed between those who blame them for the 2013 ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood government and a new military dictatorship that is heedless of their civil rights. In Forsaken: The Persecution of Christians in Today’s Middle East, Daniel Williams pulls together extensive, first-hand reportage, salient historical antecedents, and intelligent political analysis to trace the contours of an unfolding tragedy.

Daniel Williams is a former senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and a long-time foreign correspondent for: Bloomberg News in the Middle East; the Washington Post in Bosnia, Kosovo and Russia and Iraq during the 2003 invasion and afterwards the US occupation; for the Los Angeles Times in Jerusalem, Mexico City and El Salvador; and for the Miami Herald in China. As a researcher with the HRW Emergencies Division, Williams reported on continuing human rights issues in the aftermath of Arab Spring. Williams is a graduate of Yale University and an Army veteran. He is married and has a daughter.

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Daniel Williams @dwilliams1949
Author, Forsaken: The Persecution of Christians in Today's Middle East


Douglas Ollivant @DouglasOllivant
Senior ASU Future of War Fellow, New America International Security Program