The term ‘Middle East’ is defined here to include the countries from Mauritania through to Iran and from Sudan and Somalia to Turkey. It is almost impossible to provide exact figures, but the total Christian population forms about 3% (12 million) of the region’s inhabitants. Of this 3%, approximately 65% are Orthodox, 20% are Catholic are 15% are Protestant. There are known Muslim-converts or groups of converts in all of the countries in the region.
The population in the Middle East is estimated to be growing somewhere between 2.2—2.6% a year. There is no sign that the current trend of a decreasing percentage of Christians in the region will change. This declining ratio reinforces their current status as a vulnerable minority, highlighting the continued need for MEC’s work in the region.
Status of National Church
Region One: No National Church—Countries: Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain—Population 43 million—Large numbers of foreign workforce, including a large number of Christians.
Region Two: Small not legally recognized Church—Countries: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen , Somalia —Population 101 million—Less than 40,000 national Christians.
Region Three: The Church is recognized by the government—Countries: Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran—Population 321 million—most national Christians live in this region.
Choose a country or region to get more information on it.