As war, the economy and persecution by Muslim extremists push Arab Christians and religious minorities out of the Middle East, the refugees and immigrants are quietly settling in small pockets across the U.S.

They are reviving old, dormant churches, bringing together families torn apart by war and praying collectively in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Religious experts say their growing presence in the U.S. is all about survival as Christians and religious minorities continue to get pushed out of the Holy Land.

And religious leaders said if violence continues, more can be expected to seek safety in the U.S. while disappearing in lands where they’re lived for 2,000 years.

“For every plus in the U.S., there’s a minus back there,” said the Rev. Bakhos Chidiac, pastor of St. Rafka Maronite Church of Lakewood, Colorado. “It’s very sad.”

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