As American Middle East Christian communities celebrate the Christmas season, they are doing so with anxiety and apprehension about the future of the countries from which many were forced to emigrate, and about the future of Christians and their religion in the Middle East.

It may have been fashionable to call the latest uprising and revolts in the Middle East as an “Arab Spring,” but Islamic groups have emerged as powerful, political forces. And the future is unclear as to the shape of the governments that will rule in the Middle East as well as the implications they will have on non-Muslims.

Western-friendly governments that have been toppled have suppressed religious extremists for a long time, and in doing so have managed to protect various levels of the freedom of religion and worship. Now it seems many governments, directly or indirectly, will be run by Islamist groups, some with the intention to implement Sharia law, which would have negative consequences to the others. Was it the intention of the U.S. to replace previous regimes with Islamic zealots?

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