Until relatively recently, few American evangelicals knew that there is an indigenous Christian community anywhere to be found in the Middle East. Most had a dichotomous view of the region: there was the Arab world, which many presumed to represent a homogeneous and antagonistic Muslim region, and the “Holy Land”—which is evangelical-speak for a homogeneous, Jewish Israel.

Neither image reflects reality, of course. The “Holy Land” includes Israeli Jews (along a spectrum of secular and religious persuasions), a significant minority of Israeli Arabs, and the Palestinian territories. And while Sunni Muslims do comprise an overwhelming majority of the populations in the Arab world, a number of Arab states also include sizeable communities of religious minorities, including small heterodox sects (Alawi, Druze, Yazidi, etc.) and a surprising number of Christians.

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