Talk:Arab Christians

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Rename the page back to Arab Christians[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:30, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

This article turned from an article on "Arab Christians" to an article on "Christianity in the Middle East". Instead of bringing clear information on ethnic Arabs (or panethnic, which means arabidized) of Christian religion, this article is adding to confusion between various ethnic groups in the Middle East, who happen to practice Christianity and speak Arabic (Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Arabs and others). There are already articles on each ethnoreligeous group like Assyrian Christians, Armenian diaspora in the Middle East and "Christian Arabs" deserve a full article of their own community. Certainly there is a problem to define Maronites and Copts, but "Arabic speaking Christians" title is just adding to confusion. There is no article saying "England Christians and English speaking Christians" or "Spanish Christians and Spanish speaking Christians". Hence it doesn't make sense to group people by language, which is the most widespread language in the Middle East and North Africa (rediculously it would inlcude any Christian student who learned Arabic in US and Europe). Please vote Support in favor of this move or Oppose if you are against (please provide a reason). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Greyshark09 (talkcontribs) 16:31, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment A rename to Arab Christians would require moving most of the context of this article to the Christianity in the Middle East one. An infobox would also be useless since no approximate numbers can be predicted.--Rafy talk 00:33, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
The fact that most of this article overlaps "Christianity in the Middle East" is one of the reasons to give it a more specific page name and prevent confusion of the term "Middle Eastern Christian"/"Arabic speaking Christian" with Arab Christian (ethnic or panethnic Arab identity person who practices Christianity - i.e. Ghassanids, Lakhmids, Palestinian Christians and to some degree Maronites and Copts, certainly not Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Arameans).Greyshark09 (talk) 18:52, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
You are correct, the page name "Arab Christians" was a settled consensus and renamed so in 2009, but it was renamed to current title in 2010 (i'm not sure whether it was discussed prior to renaming).Greyshark09 (talk) 18:52, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support the proposal. The current title is an abomination that allows for content creep outside what the scope of the article should be. Move the article back and sort out precisely who is an Arab Christian here on the talk page. —  AjaxSmack  02:22, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support --Smart30 (talk) 05:12, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Suppport - the only reason this was changed was to appease a now banned user (who has repeatedly used sockpuppets) who would routinely remove any mention of any Egyptian from this article, claiming to speak for all Egyptian Christians when he or she said that Copts are not Arabs. As that is a plainly absurd thing to do, and something that should not have been allowed to force the name change back then, I support moving this back to a more sensible name. nableezy - 14:27, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I would also stand against the inclusion of Copts or Maronites within the "Christian Arab" scope. A separate article should contain information of historic Christian Arabs such as the Lakhmids and Ghassanids and those in Bahrain, Yemen and Nijran regions as well as the embrace of Arab identity by some Christians of the Middle East during the last century.--Rafy talk 16:08, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Rafy, first of all let's concentrate on the main issue - renaming to "Arab Christians", which would make this article more specific and clear. Later let's define exactly who are "Arab Christians". By removing "Arabic speaking Christians", we would at least stop the confusion between ethnic (or pan-ethnic) Arabs and Arabic speaking Greeks, Armenians and Assyro-Chaldeans who live in Arab countries. So, first thing first.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:11, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Arab Christians or Christian Arabs, doesn't matter to me which. About who is covered by that descriptor, it can be determined using reliable sources. There are some Maronites that do identify as Arab, just as there are some Copts who do too. We can talk about those people here, while also noting the views of other members of their communities who do not identify as Arab. The key is using reliable secondary sources and giving fair space to all significant viewpoints on the issue. Tiamuttalk 17:35, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Complete rewrite[edit]

The article now needs a complete rewrite. I would suggest first moving parts to Christianity in the Middle East and cleaning up this article to meet its current scope. Seriously the infobox looks ridiculous here.--Rafy talk 19:46, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree, i think first of all lets get rid of any information on ethnic Greeks, Assyro-Chaldeans, Aramaeans/Syriacs, Armenians and other unrelated Christians, and merge it into "Christians in the Middle East". Later we should decide how we deal with Copts and Maronites, which are a complicated issue (perhaps we would make a subsection in article "Christian sects of Arab pan-ethnicity" or something like that to mention Copts and Maronites).Greyshark09 (talk) 19:52, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I object to these changes. Some of them ones suggested are fine, specifically the ones on removing ethnic Greeks and so on as suggested by Greyshark. But what Rafy has done is remove any group that he or she feels is not Arab, without considering that, at least, a sizable portion of the communities they have removed identify as Arabs and further sources identify those groups as Arab Christians. nableezy - 16:08, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
It should be clear that those who belong to Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac and Armenian churched are traditionally considered to be a separate ethno-religious group, this is a well-known fact that is very well supported by major religious and political entities that represent those groups, and I don't think it needs further clarification. If a member of those churches identifies himself as an ethic Arab then this is his/her own individual decision that shouldn't effect the whole group's identity. Therefore those sections you reverted don't belong here.--Rafy talk 16:24, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
No, if sources identify a group as Arab then Wikipedia also considers them Arab. Arab identity is more than ethnicity or religion, and has been for a long time. If there is a dispute as to whether or not these groups are in fact Arabs that can be spelled out in the article. What is not ok is removing any group that you feel is not sufficiently Arab, despite what considerable portions of those groups self-identify as and what sources identify them as. nableezy - 16:32, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Um... Which sources are we talking about? Can you bring a respectable opinion (not a pan-Arabist opinion in some newspaper) that Assyrians/Syriacs and Armenians are Arabs? I promise to get you ten sources for each one you bring :)--Rafy talk 16:42, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
[1]: Most of the Greek Orthodox in the Arab world consider themselves Arab. It does say that Chaldeans and Maronites generally do not self-identify as Arabs. nableezy - 16:54, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
One common misconception is the attribution of Chaldean Christians to the Chaldean dynasty of neo-Babylonia. Also the given number of Chaldeans is ridiculously low and the leader of the church resides in Baghdad and not in Mosul. These two simple mistakes show that the book isn't really that reliable.--Rafy talk 18:58, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's another ... Christians in the Middle East: Christian Arabs in the Middle East by Haseeb Shehadeh of the University of Helsinki, published in The Middle East-- unity and diversity: papers from the Second Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, Copenhagen 22-25. October 1992. It says, in part, "The term Christian Arab is pluralistic in its essence and compound in its meaning. Here it is employed in its wide sense, including all Arabic-speaking Christian communities in the Arab world, numbering more than ten million faithful. These Christians are the surviving heirs of Chalcedon or Chalcedonians (that is Melkites, Malkites or Melchites) and the Monophysites, such as the Copts, the Western Syrians and the Armenians and their offspring, the Latins and the Protestants. All Oriental Christians agree Jesus Christ has two natures, divine and human, but the interpretation of the relation between these two aspects gave rise to different sects." It goes on to list in detail many of the denominations being removed from this article in Rafy's edits.
This article needs to be rewritten from the bottom up ... on that we agree. But I think the best way to do this is to use reliable secondary sources, first and foremost, to define the subject under discussion. The one provided above is a good candidate for this. I'm sure there are others that reflect more narrow definitions or different POVs. Please do bring them forward. A good one for some information on the history of early Arab Christianity can be found here [2]. I suggest we start a section to discuss the opening paragraph and a definition grounded in reliable sources and another section for useful sources, grouping them by what they might be good for. Then we can start using them to write this article. Tiamuttalk 17:11, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
The new article should meet its new scope which is "Christians who embrace the Arab identity" and exclude "Arab speaking Christians" that have been agreed upon before moving the page.--Rafy talk 18:58, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Im sorry, but that is an arbitrary definition of Arab Christian. An Arab Christian, on Wikipedia, is whoever reliable sources say is an Arab Christian. If reliable sources are split, for example some sources consider X group Arab and others do not, the article can say that. It should not however exclude a group based on the unsupported assertion that this group, as a whole, rejects the label. I am not trying to force the label Arab on anybody, and if sources overwhelmingly say that X group is not Arab then that group should not be included based on, as you called it, a pan-Arabist opinion in some newspaper. But if reliable sources do say that a Christian sect is "Arab" then that sect can be included in this article. nableezy - 19:28, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Here are some google books sources about Chaldeans.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] I could also bring similar sources about Syriacs and Assyrians but I feel that I'm facing a voice that echoes the Baathist pan-Arabist propaganda of Iraq and Syria (All Christians of the middle east are Arabs, Syriac is an ancient Arabic dialect, pre-arab people such as Kaanaanites, Arameans and Phoenicians were actually Arabs, etc.).--Rafy talk 09:31, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for posting those. You've got a couple of duplicate links in there by the way and a couple that are not useful to this article. But there are a couple of very good sources there too. I will try to open a section listing some of your sources and mine and others posted on this page under different headings to help us set p a resource list for t page that we can use to write a definition and expand and improve the article. I agree with you that an important segment of the Christian groups you mention do not identify as Arab, even though they may be considered Arabs by other Arabs because some of them share in Arabic language and culture. But there are others who do feel as though they form part of the Arab world, and embrace an Arab identity. There is room for all these POVs in the article, as expressed in reliable secondary sources. Tiamuttalk 17:14, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Can you provide us with a single Chaldean/Syriac/Assyrian religious institute/political party/institution that claim that they represent those people and that they belong to the Arab nation?--Rafy talk 18:24, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I could, but I don't see how that's necessary. What I am proposing is simply to write this article using reliable secondary sources. Of course how Chaldeans self-identify is important and most of the literature I've seen indicates that a siignificant portion of the community, if not the majority, do not identify as "Arab". However, the literature also indicates that there are some Chaldeans who do identify as Arab on linguistic or cultural grounds, and that most Arabs believe that anyone who identifies as an Arab on such grounds is an Arab. Presenting all these viewpoints and the reactions to the different viewpoints as expressed in reliable sources is how this article should be built. Tiamuttalk 18:56, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

This article should really and truly be entitled "CHRISTIANS OF THE MIDDLE EAST" That way, ALL ethnic groups can be mentioned equally, without this ridiculous dispute about Arab Vs Non Arab! Do people think this makes any sense???? Regarding Non Arabs...CLEARLY Assyrians (Chaldo-Assyrians as they are called by the Iraqi Government), Armenians, Greeks, self designated Arameans(because many reject the term "Syriac" because it derives originally from "Assyrian"), Syriacs and very many, if not MOST Egyptian Copts and Maronites (Phoenicians)do NOT regard themselves as Arab, and indeed are not Arabs. Nor in fact are those Kurds, Persians/Iranians, Turcomans, Shabaks or Turks who have converted.

Christians calling themselves unreservedly Arab tend to live mostly in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, the Gulf States, Algeria Iraq, Iran and Turkey almost all are not Arab, in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt some do and are, some (probably most) are not and do not!.....Even in Jordan and Palestine there are now small scale attempts to revive western Aramaic and distance themselves from an Arab identity.

Re titling this article would be more helpful, it would allow ALL Christian peoples in the middle east to be represented, and more importantly, in the way they see themselves, not in the way people with a POV agenda would wish to see them.

I think this would be far fairer, and would reduce disputes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

There already is an article Christianity in the Middle East in which "ALL ethnic groups can be mentioned equally". It could use some work, for example the mass of links make parts difficult to read. Would you like to take a look and see if you can do anything for it? NebY (talk) 19:16, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I think this could remain as an article on Arab Christians with all the information retained, IF at least the lede was rewritten. It needs to be clearly structured. For example, just in the first two sentences ( Arab Christians (Arabic: العرب المسيحيين Al-'Arab Al-Masihiyin) are ethnic Arabs of the Christian faith,[10] They are the remnants of ancient Arab Christian clans and Arabized Christians, such as Melchites and Rum Christians) you have "ethnic Arabs" conflated with "Arabized Christians". The word Rum is not linked to anything here, but is linked further down. Does an Arab translation of Arab Christians really add anything here? Later in the lead is a confusing description of the Melchites and Copts (not Rum), etc. Richardson mcphillips (talk) 00:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

40-50 MILLION?! WOW... just... WOW[edit]

Now, I am fascinated by ethnic, religious and cultural minorities. Christianity in the Middle East, where the religion was born, is one of my keen interests, and I'm always at pains to remind people that not all Middle Easterners are Muslims and not all Muslims are Middle Easterners....BUT..... 40-50 MILLION "Arab Christians"???! Whomever came up with that figure - pass the joint PULleez!

First of all, numbering the Coptics as "Arab Christians" is of course contested. And 6 million in SUDAN!!!??? The Arabized population of Sudan is Muslim, as is some of the non-Arabized nomads of Sudan. But the "Southern Sudanese" whom are Xtian, whom the Arabs deem "blacks", are certainly NOT Arabs - neither linguistically, culturally, genetically, or by any other criteria.

So there's 24 million reduced from the figure right there.

Then, there are not even 900,000 Christians in all of Iraq any more - let alone just Arab Iraq (outside Kurdistan), and let alone, Christians that are actually Arabs. The vast and overwhelming majority are Assyyrian or Chaldeans, who have their own language and ethnicity, followed by Armenians. Many of these people may speak Arabic (although very few as a first language), but they do not identify, nor are they officially counted as, Arabs.

I mean, I've read that pan-Arabism has been bad for minorities, but this is ridiculous!

I'm sure I could go through every nation listed here and find outrageous problems (e.g. 5,000 Arab Christians in... SOMALIA!!!!! WTF?! 1.2 MILLION Arab Christians in SAUDI???????? - someone put that in as a prank, right?!)) but i can't be bothered myself. Will someone do it for me? Thanks! OpinionsAreLikeAHoles (talk) 13:08, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, Arab Christians in Saudi Arabia and Sudan indeed sounds rediculous. This article has many serious WP:OR and half truths.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:15, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Couldn't agree more. I trimmed the infobox and moved it to the Christianity in the Middle East article but it looks like someone is having another opinion about this since he reverted my changes :/.--Rafy talk 16:27, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
This article always contained OR and half truths because it has failed to reflect scholarship on this subject or to een define its subject properly. You both know the article was just renamed and will need time to come into line with its new title. Changes should be made using reliable sources discussing "arab christians" or "christian arabs" and not be based on our personal whims or fancies. Tiamuttalk 17:13, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't see any reason against moving the infobox and other info about middle eastern countries to the Christianity in the Middle East article. Those parts clearly discuss Christianity in general including Those who may self-identify as Arabs. The new article should not skew out of context. --Rafy talk 19:08, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I can, the articles cover separate topics. That other article covers Christianity in the Middle East, not Christians in the Middle East. That article should cover the history of Christianity in the Middle East and briefly discuss the situation today. This article discusses the people. Sort of like the difference between Christianity and Christians, or Islam and Muslims. nableezy - 19:23, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Christians in the Middle East is the demographic subsection of Christianity in the Middle East, which may be expanded to an article of its own if big enough. The info on Christian groups - both historical and modern is integral to Christianity article (which of course should also include basic info on Arab Christians and link to this main article).Greyshark09 (talk) 19:41, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I fear that moving the infobox as it stands into Christianity in the Middle East would be simply transferring problems and highly dubious claims from one article to another. Worse, it would be even less appropriate to that article. The old scope of this article included Christians outside the Middle East so long as they were Arab or Arab-speaking and the infobox had grown accordingly. The numbers seem to include those living outside the Middle East, the personalities pictured and listed may too. The numbers given are dubious; they were largely inserted or adjusted by User:MitsosGreece without edit summaries and were unreferenced. User:MitsosGreece does not respond to any requests for references or explanation, from myself or others as far as I can tell. I have no confidence in those figures and it's clear that others have good reason to doubt them. NebY (talk) 19:57, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Compromise suggestion - my proposal is that we should work in coordination, and start with issues which are well agreed. As i have previously suggested let's first of all move information about Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians incl. all Aramaic speaking non-arab Christians: Chaldeans, Syriacs/Aramaeans to Christianity in the Middle East. Sudanese Christians certainly also do not belong, and not even to "Christianity in the Middle East", but to Christianity in Africa. In this article let's concentrate on Lakhmid, Ghassanid and other Christian Arab tribes, and keep two separate sections on Copts and Maronites, where we present according to WP:NPOV both the inclusion of those in Arab panethnicity and opinions which state against it, claiming direct relation to Phoenicians and ancient Egyptians accordingly (perhaps later we could decide with more WP:RS the exact status of those groups). Please answer if you agree or not on this pathway.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:38, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree, that was my idea. BTW Greek Orthodoxes and Catholics (AKA Melkites) are not necessarily ethnic Greeks, they were mainly Aramaic speaking people who have been heavily Hellenised before the advent of Islam. Some of them still speak western Aramaic and self-identify as Arameans while other consider themselves Arabs.--Rafy talk 19:56, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Disagree. I think, as I suggested above, we should use reliable secondary sources to first write a definition for who an Arab Christian is and then use sources to discuss the different groups discussed in the literature on this subject. I can't agree with removing any mention of Chaldeans when there are sources like this one (Citizenship and crisis: Arab Detroit after 9/11) which discuss the community when discussing Arabs, albeit while clarifying the ambivalence and sometimes outright rejection of Arab identity by its membership. The best thing to do in cases like that is outline the controversy, not ignore it. The source says for example that while it is true that many Iraqi Christians, including Chaldeans reject Arabness entirely, and might be considered historically and culturally distinct, there are "[...] many Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriacs, and other Iraqi Christians (roughly 45 percent) who are willing to identify as Arab Americans," and that "half of all Chaldeans speak Arabic, that Chaldeans have come from and maintain active ties to a nation-state that has an Arab majority culture, and that many of Detroit's secular Arab American organizations, even those associated with or dominated by Muslims, have prominent Chaldean members." Yes, it is true that many prominent Chaldeans and many in the community reject being called Arabs and there are ample sources to support that position. But there are some who identify on linguistic and cultural and maybe even national grounds as Arab. We cannot ignore those POVs when they are expressed in reliable sources. Tiamuttalk 17:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Here are some links showing how the Arab American institute, the sponsor of that book, is trying falsely to represent the Assyrians/Chaldeans especially in the Detroit region.[13][14] Clearly your source is far from neutral. You can take a look at what Chaldean religious and political leaders think of this.[15][16][17][18][19][20] I just hope for once that those Arab nationalists respect other ethnicities existence and stop forcing their own view on them. --Rafy talk 18:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm aware that there is a significant viewpoint among Chaldeans that rejects any association with Arabness at all. Clearly, there are some Chaldeans who disagree with that too (this source discusses some of them, for example, authors such as Dunya Mikhail, Weam Namou, and Sinan Antoon). I'm not trying to force any identity on anyone. I simply want to make sure this article complies with NPOV and includes all significant viewpoints on the subject and not just those preferred by its editors. Tiamuttalk 18:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
So yor argument is "They made a contribution to Arab literature, thus they are Arabs", one could just as well argue that once you make a contribution to English literature then you become ethnically British.--Rafy talk 19:09, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
First of all, the argument being made is not mine. Its the source's. Second of all, that's not what the source says. It describes these three authors, who are Chaldeans, as emphasizing an Arab identity in their literature. The source also has a lot of other material relevant to the issue of Chaldean identity which may help develop that article further and help us to contextualize the issues here. Tiamuttalk 06:30, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Person's ability to speak arabic doesn't make him an Arab. The question of identity is first of all ethno-cultural (ancestral Arabs), later panethnic (arabidized peoples like Copts and Maronites) and finally national (living across Arab world). The Assyro-Chaldean community is somewhere between panethnic and national relation to Arab society. Largely, however the community neither identifies etnically Arab, nor has defined Arab panethnicity (Assyrians still retain distinct culture, language and even genetics). It is also supported histrocally, with their pre-Islamic ethnohenesis. Sure, this is not an overall definition, as people like Tariq Aziz were highly active within Arab nationalistic Ba'ath party and found some identification with Arab panethnicity. Yet, lets be careful not to turn exceptions into a rule as WP:UNDUE suggests.Greyshark09 (talk) 21:12, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree that simply speaking Arabic isn't enough to make you an Arab, even though there are people who believe that speaking Arabic and partaking in Arab culture is enough for someone to be considered Arab, should they so desire. As I have repeatedly suggested, instead of crafting our own definitions, we should be drawing on those proided by reliable sources. I notice you made many changes to the introduction using terms like "ethnic Arabs" and "panethnicity" without citing sources or defining what these mean. In essence, you have given predominance to a definition of Arab that privleges racial definitions, rather than linguistic/cultural ones. That is one viewpoint worthy of inclusion in this article, but it should not be how we frame the entire article, as that would not be POV.
Please, when adding definitions, cite sources that provide that definition. I will add others that cite other definitions. Then we can begin to write an NPOV article. Tiamuttalk 06:30, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Plus thousands of Kurds joined the Ba'ath party and even reached achieved sensitive functions in Iraq and Syria (see Taha Yassin Ramadan), would that also make them Arabs?--Rafy talk 21:34, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
If reliable sources indicate that they are Arab or self-identify as Arabs, then they are Arabs. If not, then not. Tiamuttalk 06:30, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Several sources i find relevant:
[21] "This is illustrated by considering two cases of refugee groups: Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Assyrians. The first belong to the mainstream population of the country, whereas the second are a Christian minority in Iraq."
[22] "A typical Assyrian young man's life provides insight into the development of the Khabur communities at the end of the 20th century. Sami Hitler Darmo, son of Hitler Darmo, worked as a barber in Tell Tamir at the Urnina Barbershop and lived in a mud-brick home in Tell Goran when I first met him in 1995. His grandfather, who fought with the Imperial Russian Army in World War One and felt betrayed by the newly Sovietized Russians, named his son who was born in the 1930s after "the Communists' greatest enemy." Sami's own son, an American citizen, holds the more raditional Assyrian name of Ashur. Sami's wife was a first generation Assyrian-American from Chicago. Darmo noted that Syriac is not taught in the government schools but in church schools and summer courses. All Assyrians speak Syriac although some younger men seemed to have trouble reading it easily. Bayard Dodge's recommendation in 1940 that the Assyrians should learn "some Arabic" has been fulfilled with a vengeance."
[23] "Without spending any further time on the subject, we should perhaps simply mention the information provided by Tatian who speaks of himself as “having been born in the land of the Assyrians.” According to Segal, Tatian’s town of birth was Adiabene, and in fact he returned there in 172 AD, Vööbus also comments: “P. E. Kahle proposed the view that Tatian returned to his home country of Assyria and settled there. This proposition doubtlessly fits in better with our present knowledge.” Tatian was not only born in the land of the Assyrians, but he also refers to himself as being an Assyrian. It is clear that he is referring to his ethnic group and not simply to his geographical birthplace."
"Apart from the written documentation which has come down to us, we should also bear in mind the deeply-rooted oral tradition of the Assyrian people, which preserved its specific identity even after its conversion to Christianity. There is indisputable evidence to prove this: for example, the close church-state links, and the characteristic Church-nation structure obtained. The traditional denominational Churches have clearly preserved their constituent parts in terms of being national. Their liturgical-cultural heritage confirms this characteristic, even though many authors who operate within rigid scholastic parameters do not agree with it. At a later point in this article we shall explain the terms which are erroneously used to refer to these peoples, terms such as “Nestorians,” “SyriacJacobites,” “Eastern/Western Syrians,” “Syrians,” and so forth. All of these factors, and others besides, have brought us to the present-day mistaken view of the question. Nevertheless, it must be said that most modern researchers hardly bother themselves with the task of penetrating in greater detail the historical reality of this people."Greyshark09 (talk) 19:26, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Searches in Google Scholar for "Arab Assyrians" gives 1 result, search for "Assyrian Arabs" gives 3 results, search for "Assyrian people" gives 296 results, search for "Assyrians" gives 30,300 results. Seems to me very much conclusive in regard to Assyrian ethnic definition - Assyrian are overwhelmingly related as distinct ethnic group.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:26, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Is part of our problem here that we keep trying to write a definitive and unambiguous article? In many cases, we cannot agree and our sources do not agree on which Christians are or aren't Arab. Statements in this article of what is erroneous and what is reality will remain causes of conflict amongst editors. Would it be better if as encyclopedists trying to help the reader understand, we were explicit in the text that there are diiferent views and significant disputes amongst sources? Would we even be misleading if we concealed that dispute and attempted to present one absolute truth, when we know full well how little agreement there is? NebY (talk) 10:27, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Wow, article looks a lot better now guys. Maybe I should make this my new editing tactic - raise an issue on the Talk page, and ask others to resolve it! Re: NebY, actually, with regards to self-identity, there is actually very little disagreement for most of these issues. The only ones that might be slightly ambiguous are the Lebanese Christians and Coptic Christians. But with regards to Chaldo-Assyrians, Syrian Christians, and remaining North African and Near Eastern Christians, the sources are really quite clear. OpinionsAreLikeAHoles (talk) 06:26, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Iraq Christians: Please brothers of Religion, we need change this discussion[edit]

I say about Iraq Christians and i repeat that i say in Chaldean Christians discussion

There's been a big mistake, not necessarily religion can trace their ethnicity. This is an error which unfortunately today is causing wars in the world and we see a repeat of that here unfortunately.There are followers of the Chaldean Church who are Assyrians(generally those who come from villages in the Nineveh plain where there were tribes Assyrian), the Chaldeans are the ethnic that the descendant of the Babylonian people who also live in their villages and go to the Chaldean Church. Just as there are Arabs who are Christians and attend the Chaldean Church, some of these cities generally Mosul was inhabited by tribes in its founding of the Kingdom of Araba who were Arab tribes who founded the city of Hatra under a Parthian empire and were in Mosul and Iraq before Islam, as Manathera, Taghlib, Tayy and others who certainly have christians descendants in the major cities of Iraq. We can also mention that some Armenians Chaldean church goers. In this same way the church you attend does not trace their ethnicity, just as there are Muslims who are not Arabs. Even the followers of the Eastern Church and the Assyrian Church, not all are ethnically Assyrian, there are Arabs, Armenians and other ethnic groups. we will be debating that our whole life? We the christians, we have pray to a better world. The reality is we are all Semites and one people by faith, or Chaldean, Assyrian, Arabic and so are all of the Chaldean church and defend our belief that the world is peace and love. This type of discussion serves to divide rather than enhances our people. So let's save our strength to unite our people and do our best Iraq.

God Bless all Brothers —Preceding unsigned comment added by Salim1187 (talkcontribs) 20:39, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

There are several errors in your views:
  1. Chaldeans are not named after the ancient Chaldeans of Neo-babylonia, that name was chosen for them by pope Julius III in order to distinguish those new Catholic converts. Check this article
  2. Mosul was never part of Hatra it was rather part of Adiabene, an Aramean/Assyrian vassal of the Parthians, it had Jewish and later Christian roots. and By the way, Mosul trace it's root to the city of Nineveh and was not established by Arab tribes as you claim.
  3. Traditionally all Syriac Christians (with the except of Maronites who started adopting Arabic language from the sixteenth century), were very distinct from other Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians. They have been effectively using only Syriac as a liturgical language until the 60s and 70s, and that required them to know that language in order to take part in the mass.
  4. I really don't get you insistence on mentioning that city dwellers are Christian Arabs. If you are from Iraq then you should know that in Baghdad the Christian population of Dora (الدورة), Mechanic (الميكانيك) and Camp Sara (كامب سارة) is almost a homogeneous mix of Assyrians and Chaldeans. Zayyuna (زيونة) Has a substantial Syriac and Chaldean population but is known for it's staunch support of Zowaa, A nationalist Assyrian Party (Their headquarters has been moved from Dohuk to Zayyuna in 2003). Mosul had a small Greek Orthodox community in Sa'a (الساعة), however the majority of its Christian population was either Syriac Orthodox Or Chaldean and was scattered over the historical centre (They have been almost entirely driven out by our Muslim Arab brothers).--Rafy talk 23:12, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Rafy you really don't understand me, the religion don't trace our orgin ever. Have minorities, i say just that this minorities live in city. About Hatra, the population of ancient hatra go to Mosul after ende of kingdom and mixing to nineveh people and founded the Mosul City. I born in Mosul, my family was in mosul that we know since 1796 and our origin is in Mosul i think. Of course have aramaic/assyrians/chaldeans/syriac in city but this is more common after de assyrian genocide in 1915. The assyrian people before 1900 is not common in Mosul and you know this. They was live in villages around of cities. All christians churchs in middle east was speak a syriac/aramaic language in mass also in Syria,Lebanon and Palestine. The language in mass don't change our race. You have your opnion i respect, but you have understand that have arab christians (have also armenians) from Chaldean Church, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic. Other thing nobody is pure blood, you worry about race but this is not matter. If you like race, the genects studys show that Assyrian people have 41% of Haplogroup J1 (Haplogroup more common in Arabia and Yemen) Yemenites-72%. This is much more than Lebanese people with 18%, Jordanians dead sea-9%, Jordanians-40%, Egypt-5%. The Haplogroup J2 (more commom in fertile crescent natives) Assyrians 14,1%, Lebanese-29,7%, Jordanians-21%. .I don't care about this, for me the assyrians and arab are brothers. But you have understand that same form the assyrians not identify themselves as arabs, the arab christians not identify themselves as assyrians. And please don't come and say that no have arab christians because this is disrespect and you is don't owner of true. I like the assyrians, i respect but i want respect to arab christians also.

God Bless you —Preceding unsigned comment added by Salim1187 (talkcontribs) 01:15, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I understand what you feel but the issue is not "how we feel" rather than what reliable sources say about this. Also the language you speak doesn't define you ethnicity someone else already mentioned that. So you can still have Arabic as a mother tongue and yet don't identify as Arab. In Nineveh plains they have a word for (ܐܪܒܝܐ Arabaya) which is only used to define a "Muslim Arab", those Christians are called (ܣܘܪܝܐ Suraya) regardless whether they speak Arabic or Syriac.
I agree with you that no one is of pure blood and that Genetics shouldn't be taken into consideration when defining someone's ethnicity.
I respect your opinion but I still think that you belong to a minority. I myself know many Arabic-speaking Maslawis and I think that the vast majority would rather identify with Assyrian/Syriac/Chaldeans than with Arabs, their religion definitely plays a big role in that. --Rafy talk 12:01, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Athurnay have no shame, they want to force the name Assyrian, which isn't even theirs, on Chaldeans. It is called the Chaldean Catholic Church because it is the church of Chaldeans, the same reason the Greek Orthodox Church is called the GREEK Orthodox Church. You guys are not even Assyrians, you are Atoraya, meaning people of mountains, which mountains? The ones in Iran, the Zagros Mountain ranges. The name Assyrian today is a label given by British evangelists. These evangelists used the name Assyrian to Atoraya to hype them up in order to form a militia and use them for a frontier in WWI. Make no mistake Assyrians of today are Atoraya, NOT Assyrian, they are of Persian/Armenian decent. Their language is Aramaic, but Aramaic was the greater language of Christians in the Middle East. Before Arabic spread in the Middle East Aramaic was being spoken. Their Aramaic is not even original, it has a lot of Farsi and Armenian words. Chaldeans are specifically found in Iraq, no where else. However, a large number of Assyrians are found in Armenia and Iran. What does that tell you? You Atoraya have no shame, you claim to be Christian, but you insist that you're Assyrians, even though the Assyrians were wiped out by the Chaldeans in The Bible. Most of these Assyrians on Wikipedia are being paid by Zowaa to change the pages of Wikipedia, but what they fail to realize is regardless if you try to change history through Wikipedia, history is history. No researcher uses Wikipedia as a source, they can try all they want, the truth is the truth, ASSYRIANS ARE NOT ASSYRIANS, THEY ARE ATORAYA, THE PEOPLE OF THE MOUNTAINS OF ZAGROS, THEY ARE MODERN DAY ARMENIAN/PERSIANS. The main reason why they want to make Chaldeans Assyrian is because of their own political agendas and the fact that the majority of the old villages of Ninveh are Chaldean owned. The reason they are Chaldean owned is because the Chaldeans defeated the Assyrians, therefore, they took their lands. Atoraya have some shame to what you're doing, what you're doing today is just as bad as what Muslims are doing. Last thing, Atoraya are not from Iraq, they simply immigrated in the early 1900's, most of them speak with a broken Arabic accent and have problems pronouncing Arabic words correctly, how are they suppose to be from Iraq when they can't speak proper Arabic? We reject their name and they still try to impose it, if someone rejected my beautiful name I would stop forcing it on him because it is sacred to me. ATORAYA HAVE NO SHAME. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alqoshnaya (talkcontribs) 20:26, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Google scholar results[edit]

As i have already mentioned there is some indication by google scholar for sources identification of who are Arab Christians and who are not. Sure, this is not unified, but we search for WP:COMMONNAME and WP:DUE, trying to give appropriate WP:WEIGHT. So here it goes:

search for "Arab Assyrians" gives 1 result
search for "Assyrian Arabs" gives 3 results
search for "Assyrian people" gives 296 results
search for "Assyrians" gives 30,300 results
search for "Maronite Arabs" gives 10 results
search for "Arab Maronites" gives 4 results
search for "Maronite people" gives 34 results
search for "Maronites" gives 9,480 results
search for "Coptic Arabs" gives 1 result
search for "Arab Copts" gives 3 results
search for "Coptic people" gives 71 results
search for "Copts" gives 10,300 results
search for "Syriac Arabs" gives 3 results
search for "Arab Syriacs" gives 0 results
search for "Syriac people" gives 25 results
search for "Syriacs" gives 363 results
search for "Chaldean Arabs" gives 2 results
search for "Arab Chaldeans" gives 2 results
search for "Chaldean people" gives 71 results
search for "Chaldeans" gives 16,800 results

Frankly there is little to derive from this experiment, but one can see a wide use of "Assyrian people" term (including (Syriac and Chaldean) and lesser uses of "Coptic people" and "Maronite people". Except Aramaic speaking groups - there is no certainty to define Maronites and Copts as people, but on the other hand they are too rarely being defined as "Arabs". One could also try "Arab Phoenicians" (Lebanese / Maronites) and "Arab Aramaeans" (Syriacs) to complete the picture, but this is redundant at this point.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:10, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Here are the contrast results for strictly defined Arab Christian tribes:

search for "Ghassanid Arabs" / "Ghassan Arabs" gives 44 results
search for "Arab Ghassanids" gives 16 results
search for "Ghassanid people" / "Ghassan people" gives 1 result
search for "Ghassanids" gives 566 results
search for "Lakhmid Arabs" gives 27 results
search for "Arab Lakhmids" gives 3 results
search for "Lakhmid people" gives 0 results
search for "Lakhmids" gives 426 results

Unlike previous cases, the academic sources suggests that Ghassanids/Lakhmids are much more related as Arab peoples, rather than distinct identity group. Just for general info - today's Arab Christians of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and West Bank are largely identified with past Ghassanids (surely addmixed with Byzantine Greeks and others), whereas Iraqi and the Gulf's Christian Arabs identified with the Lakhmid branch. While most Lakhmid/Ghassanid Arab Christians belong to Catholic or Orthodox Churches, there are many of them, who belong to Chaldean, Maronite and Jacobite Churches, which makes it a hard time to separate from ethnic Assyrians/Syriacs and especially hard to distinguish between the Lebanese groups ("Phoenicians" vs "Arabs"). We need good sources for this to bring some order into ethnic and religious identity of today's Arab Christians and their definition.Greyshark09 (talk) 09:45, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

The affiliation with the Lakhmids is almost non-existent nowadays. Although one can't deny the existence of prominent Arab, Persian and Turkic Nestorians during the middle ages, Any link with Arab tribes or Persian and Turkic people has become very negligible as Christians in Mesopotamia become increasingly weary of outsiders in later centuries. I doubt that you will find many Chaldeans/Syriacs that still associate with those Arabs, even if such link exist.--Rafy talk 11:18, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree, this is why the vast majority of Christians in Mesopotamia and the Gulf are ethnic Assyrians. I'm not perticularly familiar with who are those 5,000-20,000 non-Assyrian Arab Christians, but i assume they have to do with Lakhmid or other Arab tribes' legacy from Byzantine period. Regarding Levantine Christian Arabs - those largely can be easily traced to Ghassanids (especially West Bank, Israel and Jordan, some in Lebanon and Syria), with addmix of arabidized Greco-Byzantines (i personally know a Levantine Arab Christian, who traces his family to middle-ages Anatolia). I didn't mean that there are many Chaldean Church/ Syriac Church adherents who identify arabs, but it is possible. The same way some Maronite adherents may be ethnically Arab (like Ghassanids), whereas most of the Maronites are most probably arabidized Lebanese. It is useless to distinct Maronites of Lebanese or Ghassanid ancestries - all intermixed, just like the neighbour Yemenite and Qeisi Druze.Greyshark09 (talk) 11:47, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
There's a basic problem with this sort of counting. If it's generally understood that (for example) Frebs are Frolish, you'll not get many hits for Frolish Frebs. You'll get hits for Ralish Frebs and Tremulous Frebs, because they're distinguished, but otherwise scholars just talk about Frebs and don't specify Frolish Frebs. NebY (talk) 20:34, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Figures in the infobox[edit]

  • Although I couldn't find solid numbers of members of Christian Churches in Iraq, most sources agree that Chaldeans form more than 50% with Assyrians, Syriac Catholics and Orthodoxes and Armenians coming next respectively. This would make the figures of traditional "Arab Christians" (Greeks and Latins) less than Armenians and thus less than (10,000) you can through 10,000 more but the number is nowhere near 200,000 or 300,000.
  • Those in Syria are also difficult to measure. We know that Greek Catholics are the largest then comes Armenian and Syriacs. There have been lately an influx of refugees from Iraq which are mostly non-Arab. So I would guess that it's 50-50.
  • Lebanon might prove the most difficult to estimate,but I would suggest putting a figure ranging from 50% to 80% of the total Christian population.--Rafy talk 11:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Good point, church affiliation may be the best method to separate between Assyrian peoples and Christian Arabs, but if someone could find a source for this - we could conclude the issue.Greyshark09 (talk) 11:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Regarding Copts - there is no indication that 821,000 are Arabs, they could be foreign workers as well. Maybe in case of Egypt and Lebanon we better give the figure including all Christians and mention "including Maronites" and "including Copts" respectively. What do you say?Greyshark09 (talk) 12:08, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I have no objections to you suggestions but I'm afraid some Copts and Maronites might start an edit war on that.--Rafy talk 13:16, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
After reviewing the data again, i would like to support the idea of writing "exluding Copts" and "excluding Maronites" - that would be a better, less controversial, info. According to this [24] - most Arab Christians are Greek Orthodox - the amount of those in Egypt who are not Greeks and not Copts is probably only in tens of thousands, not 800+ thousands as proposed in infobox.Greyshark09 (talk) 20:40, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Good point re foreign workers, but if we include Copts then we've got a figure in the millions at the same time that we've got good reasons to think that the Christians who are clearly Arabs number less than 800,000. I'm coming back to the view that we should just stop trying to put population numbers in the infobox at all! NebY (talk) 20:25, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
That was my initial idea as well. --Rafy talk 13:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Dear Rafy and Greyshark, is correct that majority of Chaldeans Christians are Syriac/Assyrians, but i want mean a many time one thing. The church is no traces your indentity, the same way you talk term "Arabized" about christians, many were "assirianized" after Brithish rule early of century when surge the assyrian moviment. Another day we talk about genetics and genetically we Christians of Iraq are close to the Arabs second DNA studies. But it does not matter, what matters is how people identify themselves. Today many identify themselves as Assyrian but there is a large portion that identifies as Arab.I have 75 years and my family is baptized in Chaldean Church in Mosul, i'm not assyrian and like me have a lot in Mosul and other places of Iraq that go to Chaldean Church but not assyrian identinty. In Mosul we were going also in Latin Church, Syriac and Chaldean in center of city. The true is many christians that go to Chaldean Church, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic are not assyrians. I know armenian friends that go to Chaldean Church also and they are not assyrian. The correct number to you say about arab chrisitans today in Iraq unknown. But im remember in 1985 the governor say that more than 200.000 person are arab christians in Iraq and the majority of this live in cities. I say all of these only to you understand one thing, have many arabs that go to chaldean church, like go to Syriac orthodox and syriac catholic. And how i say if you consider genetic studies Arab Christians in Iraq is majority of country but this is no matter, the person is that what the person is that identify himself and the culture that follows. So i take average 10.000 to 200.000 is correct because when give this media 10.000 to 200.000 you avoid making any mistakes. I hope he understands and respects my amendment. Allah ma3ak Rafy and Greyshark —Preceding unsigned comment added by Salim1187 (talkcontribs) 12:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Which governor? Can you bring a source for that? Also your experience doesn't count as a source here.
BTW, since you speak Arabic why don't you involve yourself in the Arabic version of the same article? I needs some serious help imho--Rafy talk 13:19, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't seem you have a concrete understanding of genetics - it sounds to me like a WP:OR. I'm having a degree in related science, and i have not heard about genetic identification of Assyrians with Arabs, on the contrary - Assyrians form a distinct genetic cluster, within Mesopotamian populations (Kurds, Iraqi Arabs, Jordnian Arabs - see here [25]) and far from Arabian populations (Saudis, Yemenis). The entire story on "who is Arab by genes" is non-sense (usually there is a running rumor that J1 is an "Arab" marker - which is far from truth), and promoted by those who don't understand genetics.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:23, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

In Saddam Hussein time this numbers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Salim1187 (talkcontribs) 14:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Greyshark09 i read your article, and that i see the assyrians from Iraq and others are very close to Lebanese, Jordanian and other people of asia. This explains the similarity of Assyrian people with the Lebanese people. Another thing the Lebanese are placed how Arabs here and other places , but according to this study that you show the lebanese are more far than Iraqis and Assyrians of the arabs. If you follow this genetic, the Lebanese are genetically near of Assyrians. If is correct the lebanese people is more far of arabs in genetic that assyrians and iraqis of arabs. I mean the assyrians and iraqi are more near of arabs than lebanese are. So if assyrian are not arab, Lebanese people aren't also because this study show lebanese near of assyrians but more far of arabs than assyrians. God Bless you and Thank you of your article.--Salim1187 (talk) 15:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

This article is not accurate - as you know Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq have many ethnic & religious groups, but the article doesn't say which group/s were tested for the purpose of this study - there is no "Jordanian ethnicity" or "Iraqi ethnicity" or "Syrian ethnicity", as most are ethnic Arabs but many minorities live in those countries. It could be that some Jordanian and Lebanese Christians of Syriac background were also tested in this survey. Yet, you can certainly prove that Kurds and Assyrians are natives to fertile crescent. We can also see Lebanese, Jordanians and Iraqis carry a significant amount of local genes of populations which were "arabidized". Yet we don't know how many relative genes of Lebanese/Jordanians/Iraqis are also originated in "yemeni/saudi" clusters (could be also a lot, but not the majority). In the end you cannot know by this article who is "closer" to Arabs of Arabia - both Lebanese and Assyrians are genetically quiet far.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:55, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

You mean that assyrians and lebanese are quite far from arab cluster? Using common sense , i think lebanese people also muslim are farther away from the Arabs in genetically than of Assyrian of arabs. I say this because arab were in Mesopotamia before Jesus and they had settled in mesopotamia. In Lebanon the arab presence is much smaller and Lebanon stay in the coast, were the entry to middle east, so many people enter in middle east by Lebanon. Lebanon in some times have a latin languages, also greek and aramaic. If you see the lebanese culture is more far the arab culture, maybe this explain the low arab presence in Lebanon. Other thing, DNA exams of Pierre Zalloua in Lebanese Christians and Muslins found a different genes of Syrians, Jordanians and Arabs but same frequences of Cyprus, Malta, Morroco, Spain and Cartage. (Phoenicians Places) This studies say that majority of Lebanese people have a mediterranean race mixing with ancient semitics how hebrews and cannanites. Sure that assyrians have own culture, language and ethnicity but all DNA studies that have show that assyrians frequences is more near of arabs and lebanese more far of arabs Majority of lebanese people reject arab indentity, how assyrians reject also. assyrians consider heritage about native assyrians/syriacs background the lebanese say about phoenicians. All studies of Dna that have show that Lebanese people is more far of arabs and assyrians more near, and the arabs of Iraq (Muslins and Christians) same more near of arabs and lebanese more far. I don't say that lebanese aren't arab and assyrian are, but that i have seen the Iraqi people in general is more arab than lebanese and i include the assyrians.

God Bless you--Salim1187 (talk) 22:18, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

"Common sense" is subjective and not something you should rely on in issues you are not expert in. You should rely on WP:RS sources, not "rumors" / original research / propaganda / synthesis. If you have more questions on genetics - you better ask me on my discussion page, since i doubt it is relevant here. The way Lebanese feel about their identity vs. Assyrians is not very relevant to history and genetics, and by the way the first large Arabian migration to fertile crescent was Banu Amela, who settled Hauran and south Lebanon in 2nd century BCE (though Nabateans can be accounted as their predecessors in the southern Levant, arriving in 4th century BCE).Greyshark09 (talk) 22:37, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that the notion of defining ethnicities and affiliations based on genetics is false and misleading. For example after 300-400 years of existence in North America 30% of African Americans have European ancestries[26], should we ask them to be affiliated with Europe rather than Africa? Ethnicities are defined by culture, history, religion, language and even politics, but never by DNA.--Rafy talk 11:25, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, i don't agree with you in general - dna does have a lots to do with ethnicity, to a point that it is possible to identify the ethnicity (and therefore general looks) of a criminal by testing an unidentified dna and easily find the ancestral origin of an average American, who is a mix of many nations. However, i totally agree that dna testing is almost useless to identify nations in the Middle East, as all different ethno-religious and ethno-linguistic groups are so closely related - we cannot see the difference on the individual level. It sounds absurd, but Kurds are genetically identic to Jews, Jews are genetically similar to Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian Arabs are genetically identic to Saudi and Yemenite Arabs and Lebanese. Does it make Kurds to be genetically similar to Saudi Arabs? No, but it makes them all inter-related - a big and (not so) happy family.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:01, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, as I said is not only the genetics that defines the ethnicity. I believe that Assyrians and the Kurds are also interrelated with the Saudis, Yemenite and Jordanian arabs. About the lebanese people, all the studies say they are more far Arabs and Assyrian more closer to the Arabs. But there is a possibility for all Middle Easterners are interrelated.--Salim1187 (talk) 19:52, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I added figures from CIA world factbook but they were removed. Instead the source used is this: [27], which is basically "Arabic Bible outreach". Is this really a reliable source? (talk) 03:11, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

And who decided the CIA is WP:RS ? Seems to me that CIA is a very much biased source, and i really doubt they employ experts on demography and ethnicity of the Middle East. Politics, politics, politics. The "Arabic Bible" is not a good source, so you are welcome to tag "better source needed", but the numbers are brought by a scholar of Ph.D degree, so i think this is quiet reliable and makes much more sense than CIA numbers. I assume some other editors would agree on it with me.Greyshark09 (talk) 20:53, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

We must put "Arabic-speaking Christians" back in the title.[edit]

No matter how much you agree or disagree with the title, we must keep "Arabic-Speaking Christians" back in the title. Leaving it out violates NPOV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:55, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

No, your suggestion violates NPOV, while currently all views are presented.Greyshark09 (talk) 20:17, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
"The suggestion violates NPOV" really? Read WP:BASH about using policy as weapons. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:11, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Your remark is the perfect example of WP:BASH. Nice try.Greyshark09 (talk) 15:50, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Bad title[edit]

The article title shouldn't be Arab Christians really. Arabs proper are people of the Arabic peninsula, who have a long continuous history of Arabic and Arabic culture. Mesopotamians are Mesopotamians of varying heritage, f.ex. Syriac, Iraqi, Chaldaean, Babylonian (?) etc., while Egyptians are Egyptians, Libyans are Cyrenaic, Berber and Libyan etc.. That they use the Arabic language as their lingua franca and paternal tongue doesn't define their nationality. What's referred to as "Arab" and "Arabic" here is pretty much rather the Islamic cultural sphere.

I rather propose "Christians in the Islamic Culture" to get the right perspective, or else the article should treat real Arabs (Arabic descent, etc.) in the Arabic peninsula that are Christians. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:11, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Just wanted to add: confusing "Arab" with "Islamic sphere" is embarassingly ignorant! Read history, by Jove! Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:34, 14 June 2011 (UTC)


Any article on Arab Christians which ignores Copts, who are exclusively Arabic-speaking, just because some proactive Copts nowadays refuse to identify as Arabs is ridiculous IMO. Levantine Christians are just as much "Arabian". Either there's an article about Arabic-speaking Christians including such non-Arab-self-identifying groups or you might as well just reduce the article to Christians from the Arabian peninsula. This article is being hijacked to promote political views I believe. Anyone seeking information about Arabic speaking Christians from the Near East is either going to be disappointed if more informed about the topic, or will be completely mislead by it if less knowledgeable. (talk) 14:58, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Re-read the article, there is a section on Copts, and they are described in the lead. Though, their Arab identity is somewhat disputed.Greyshark09 (talk) 15:09, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Revising numbers in Lebanon and Egypt[edit]

The article deals with Arab Christians, who are adherents of Melkite (Greek Catholic) and Greek Orthodox churches (per sources). Some Christian Arabs are adherents of other churches such as Protestant and Chaldean, but the issue is minor, with some 80% being Greek Orthodox and 20% Greek Catholic. However, i must note that the "1% other Christian sects" for Egypt is apparently including all Chrisitian sects, apart of Coptic (only a minority of which are actually Arab Christians of Greek churches). I would say the number is not 821,000 , but rather close to 10,000-20,000. And by the way the section on Coptic Chrisitians should say something on the demographics as well (even though not included in the template).

In addition, since there is a separation of Arab Christians and Maronite Christians (some of which deny Arab identity, and some adopt), maybe it is a good idea to make demographics for Maronites apart from the Arab Christian demographics, while still including in this article in the Maronite section. Maronites, whether Arab or not, are a very distinct identity than Levantine Arab Christians of Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:01, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Here is finally some data on the various Churches in Egypt here [28]:
•Total population, including non-Christians: 83 million •Copts: 7.5 million •Greek Orthodox: 350,000 •Coptic Catholic: 200,000 •Protestant: 200,000 •Small numbers of Armenian Orthodox, Melkites, Maronites and Syrian Catholics.
Hence, the number in Egypt should go down to 350,000. In addition there are 7.7 million Copts.

I would also like to finally revise the numbers in Lebanon:
•Total population, including non-Christians: 4 million •Percent Christian: 34-41% •Maronite: 700,000 •Greek-Orthodox: 200,000 •Melkite: 150,000
So, we can say the number of Arab Christians is about 350,000 (makes sense) and there are also 700,000 Maronites with disputed Arab identity.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:21, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Another source - BBC review from 2000, says the following numbers [29]:
Coptic Christians (Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelic-Protestant) 6-7 million; Roman Catholics ~1,000; Greek Orthodox - "only a few thousand"; Other denominations - "The remaining Christian communities make up a tiny minority, totalling a few thousand."
The source is outdated and slightly unclear, but nevertheless gives a clear idea on the situation - the number of Arab Christians is certainly not 821,000 and anywhere near.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:35, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

removed tags[edit]

I have just removed the pov and copyedit tags since they are not needed anymore (imo).--Rafy talk 20:43, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Article is much better now, but there are still more sources needed, and better and clearer definition needed in lead and other sections (especially about who is Arab and who is Copt and Maronite). Removal of POV at this stage is however ok with me.Greyshark09 (talk) 21:17, 2 July 2011 (UTC)


Though Arameans are definately not the subject of this article, but they should be mentioned among the various peoples of the Middle East, sometimes included by pan-Arabists as "arabic" (and those inlcude also Assyrians, Maronites, Copts, Jews, Samaritans, Mandeans, etc.). The article on Arameans, just like articles on ancient Israelites and Assyrians mentions the people of Aram (also mentioned in the Bible), the article also includes a section on Arameans in modern times. Just because you deleted this section doesn't mean several tens of thousands of Syriac Christians, who claim to be Arameans "vanished". First of all let's face a fact - self-identified Arameans exist [30], [31]. Second lets see in sources what WP:RS say about this, and the historic link to ancient Arameans (the same way some doubt that Jews and Samaritans relate to ancient Israelites and todays Chaldo-Assyrians are the descendants of ancient Assyrians, and that Kurds descend from Karduchi). So i'll move this discussion to the talk page of Arameans article, and bring the arguments.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:29, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Please refer to the Names of Syriac Christians article. Those who claim an Aramean identity do not claim a different identity than Syriacs/Assyrians/Chaldeans, etc...
One of the major political proponents of this name is ArDO they clearly don't wish to be considered as a separate group as you can see.--Rafy talk 17:46, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on Eastern Churches, but this source might be useful [32]. It says Jacobite Church adherents relate themselves as Aramean Christians.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:59, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Anyway i think that erasing the section on modern Arameans, and then claiming that there are no such people is absurd. And wrong. I shall learn about it more, but unless the info is merged into "Assyrians" article, it is a serious information assault and POV pushing. Anyway let's discuss this on "Arameans" page.Greyshark09 (talk) 18:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
You might want to read this if you have enough interest and spare time.--Rafy talk 18:25, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I will , thanx.Greyshark09 (talk) 18:32, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Rafy, i have read the research and it was quiet fascinating. The author argues that a need for identity prompted a strict definition of "Assyrians", "Arameans" and even "Chaldeans" within the Suryoyo diaspora communities. However he doesn't argue that there is no basis for such national definition. I would say that pre-Arab people from Western Syria, named Aram in ancient times, can easily identify as Arameans, whereas Eastern Syria and north Iraq (Ninwe) more closely relate to Assyria, with south Iraq being Babylon in the ancient times, populated by invading Chaldeans, who probably mixed into local Assyrian-Babylonian. It seems the need for identity eventually goes to actual historical-geographical, cultural and ancestral identities and we can see it among other diaspora peoples, such as Circassians and more recently Palestinian Arabs - i doubt there was a common national identity of those before their diaspora took place.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:07, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Thia might not be the right place to discuss this issue. I will leave you a message at your talk page.--Rafy talk 17:29, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Since the Aramean people issue is not the main issue here, i suggest a compromise to call Syriac Christians for all denominations of Chaldo-Assyrians and Arameans. Armenians are never disputed for being Arabs, so i see no reason to mention them, while Syriac people are identified by some western sources and pan-Arabists as "Arab Christians" (same as Mizrahi Jews are called "Arab Jews") - which is most probably mistaken and erroneous, but we should mention this issue.Greyshark09 (talk) 18:10, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Although I would prefer using a single name, I personally have no strong objection in using multiple slashes, hyphens, etc... I know that many would disagree and I understand why.--Rafy talk 18:25, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm indeed suggesting using a single name - "Syriac Christians".Greyshark09 (talk) 18:33, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Syriac Christians will do in most cases since it represents a distinctive form of religious and cultural identity than Arab/Greek Christianity. --Rafy talk 17:36, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Hello Greyshark09, this has been discussed a several times. The article about the ethnic people belonging to the Syriac Orthodox Church (Jacobite), the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church is this article. It was called Assyrian/Syriac/Chaldean people before, but was changed back to just Assyrian people after WP:common name. The article "Arameans" is about the ancient people and has nothing to do on this page. That is why I changed Arameans to Armenians in that secion, because they are the only Christians in Iraq together with Assyrians (.../Syriacs/Chaldeans...). Shmayo (talk) 10:30, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

"Just because you deleted this section doesn't mean several tens of thousands of Syriac Christians, who claim to be Arameans "vanished"." "It says Jacobite Church adherents relate themselves as Aramean Christians.", I suggest you read more in other talk pages, as the on in the Assyrian article. I'm Jacobite myself. Shmayo (talk) 10:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
And there where no mention of Arameans until IP added it a month ago. Shmayo (talk) 10:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I will not go into this - i believe you might know the issue better than i do. I know well about Levantine Arab Christians of the Orthodox and Latin churches.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
"Armenians are never disputed for being Arabs", absolutely not as much as Assyrians, but this is a line I just found in the article Syria here on WP: "...while some 10% are arab Christians, which includes Arabs and Armenians.". I know, it sounds very wrong, but anyway. It actually said Armenians here for a long time before you changed it. Do you still think "Arameans" should be included here? Shmayo (talk) 12:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Does it give an external source for this claim? or just wiki text?Greyshark09 (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't read talk pages, but sources. i will read Rafy's link.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Will you agree to say "excluding Syriac Christians"?Greyshark09 (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I really don't mind not to mention Arameans, but regarding Armenians this is certainly redundant. The same way there are Christian Philippinos in Iraq, we should not mention that the count excludes them - it is obvious.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

It was just wiki text, just wanted to show that there are people actually calling them Arabs. But yes, you're right that most people don't consider them Arabs. My main point is that "Arameans" is a article for an ancient people, the article for the ethnic people living today is this one. So remove Armenians, but also Arameans. Writing just "Syriac Christians" is wrong, it's actually a ethnic people, not just a religious group. And reading talk pages could be good before editing, to see the consensus that has been reached. But do you agree writing just Assyrians there? Shmayo (talk) 16:57, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, sure i agree for Assyrians or Chaldo-Assyrians. Fine with me - you are welcome to change this.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:40, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Sister article[edit]

Somebody made up an unreferenced article named Greek Orthodox Christians in Greater Syria. I think we should propose it for deletion since it deals exclusively with Arab Christians (even though it say also Orthodox Greek Assyrians, but that is UNDUE). In addition Greater Syria is a WP:SYNTH and WP:POV, since it is a rarely used today geographic term for Levant and parts of Mesopotamia. Suggestions?Greyshark09 (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Since there is no interest, i subject that article for speedy deletion.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:42, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

ethnic nationalism[edit]

This article is supposed to be about Arab Christians, not ethnic nationalism. I'm afraid this article continues to be hijacked by a vocal POV-pushing minority who are turning the majority of this article into a manifesto that rejects the so-called "Arab" identity; that's not how an encyclopedic article should look like. Interested parties who edit this article should keep focused about the article, and that is -Arab Christians-.George Al-Shami (talk) 21:50, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Which parts of the article you find encyclopedic? Can you be more precise?--Rafy talk 19:17, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
You mean, which parts I don't find encyclopedic; the "questions of identity" section and the infobox is not only laced with pov, but does not add to the article at all. Everything that has to be mentioned about identity is already amply mentioned in the intro; and the other ethnic groups in question are even named. We don't know how many Arabic-speaking persons identify either way, as Arabs or non-Arabs; this is a question of personal views or personal politics. Just because there is a source about one Maronite elder claiming that he rejects the "Arab" identity does not logically mean that the majority of his community either backs or agrees with him. Basically the 2 pov sub sections, those who don't identity and those who identify as "Arabs", are being used by each side to push their pov. Trying to claim that a whole community rejects or accepts a title just because one or two leaders says so is called original research on Wikipedia.George Al-Shami (talk) 02:43, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
Well Kataeb and Hurras el-Arz are main political entities that claim to represent the Maronites and the article clearly doesn't assume they are speaking on behalf of all Maronites.
Maronites were removed from the infobox because main political entities that represent them mostly reject the Arab identity and their religious institute as well defines the Maronite church as culturally Syriac. I agree with you that this is a question of personal views, and it is impossible to give exact numbers of those who identify as Arabs, but the current figures given in the infobox are the best guesses and I wouldn't mind removing them all.--Rafy talk 09:35, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I would prefer to keep and improve the numbers, because Arab Christians with solid Arab identity (adherents of Greek Orthodox, Latin and to large degree Melkite churches) are a sizeable community in the Levant (and diaspora), with distinct cultural and historic roots, and it is important to accurately describe them. We have a scholarly opinion on who is and who is not an Arab Christian with some numbers, so this is the best to begin with.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:00, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I would like to add that Galilean Maronite community also claim non-Arab Aramean-Phoenician identity (quote "The Maronites were initially aided in their struggle against the Arabs by the Greeks and established their first state by the end of the 7th century..." [33]), as well as the case of American Maronite societies that denied to be represented by "Arab American Institute" [34] (ironically, even though one of its founder was a Maronite). Anyway, there is definately a WP:DUE case for such non-Arab self-definition.
The Pan-Arabist position on Maronites is of course notable (expressed also here [35]), this is why it is mentioned in the article, however the opposite positions are also notable (for example here [36]) as mentioned above, thus are also brought in the most balanced way altogether (disputed identity) - all according to wikipedia policy of WP:NPOV.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:54, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
@George, when examining the article, maybe there is a need to some rephrasing and moving of some paragraphs to more relevant articles for WP:WEIGHT (i will move some to "Maronite Church#population"), but still this article is a great improvement since it was called "Arab and Arabic-speaking Christians", and consisted a total mess, forked from Christianity in the Middle East. Please help improving it further per WP:GF.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:17, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Who claims a non arab ethnicity?[edit]

"the largest Middle Eastern Christian groups of Lebanese Maronites and Egyptian Copts claim a non-Arab ethnicity" I don't know about the copts but for the Maronites I am pretty sure this is a minority. Do not confuse right wing lebanese groups with maronites and christians in general! many of the most influential pan-arab theorists were maronite christians! Philoleb (talk) 23:40, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Most political parties as well as the Maronite religious institution do not claim an Arab identity.--Rafy talk 00:04, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Do maronite religious institution claim an identity? I looked on the patriachs websetite, and could not find anything... and politcal institutions? the christian political party that won the most seats in parliament claims an arab identity as far I as am concerned (FMP)... And there are much more prominent christian lebanese pan-arabist, or that claim an arab identity than prominent christian lebanese phoenicianists. And then suppose you are righ why did we put 90 000 arab christians in lebanon instead of 0? And why is President Sleiman's picture up there he is a maronite, and if you discount them, then his picture should be taken out. And I don't think is a good source for that kind of stuff :)Philoleb (talk) 03:53, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
My bad bout the 90000 mis read ;p Philoleb (talk) 03:57, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes the Maronite church do claim an identity which is rather complex but doesn't include being Arab anyway.[37]
If we look at the political scene we find that most prominent "pure" Maronite parties such as Lebanese Forces, Kataeb Party, and Marada Movement claim a non-Arab identity. The Free Patriotic Movement although led by a Maronite, doesn't necessarily represent them and their standpoints generally vague regarding the identity of the Maronites.--Rafy talk 14:10, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Pres. Suleiman, if Maronite, should be removed from the template and moved to Maronites. Greyshark09 (talk) 15:55, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
It should be probably replaced. How about a female politician, like Hanan Ashrawi?--Rafy talk 16:49, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The question is are we sure he is a Maronite (sorry, i personally don't know);
regarding Ashrawi - i have already placed her here but later removed on second thoughts - we can find much more famous and contributing historical figures like Constantin Zureiq, John of Damascus and if speaking of Palestinian Christians - how about Nayef Hawatmeh and George Habash?Greyshark09 (talk) 18:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I thought of a female for the sake of political correctness. The infobox has enough Palestinians IMO Face-smile.svg.--Rafy talk 23:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm in favor of putting a female, but i think Ashrawi might have a notability problem to be put as the sole representative of Arab Christians. By the way, regarding Palestinian Christians - the article is in quiet a bad shape and the definition are heavily affected by Arab nationalism. You can find in this article definition of "Palestinian" as a nationality of modern Christian citizens of PA, but also Hellenistic Byzantines (who resided within the province of Palaestina Prima in antiquity), Arab citizens of Israel, former citizens of Mandatory Palestine (refugees and immigrants) and their descendants. Salim Joubran, an Israeli prime court judge, is for example a Maronite citizen of Israel, but is defined as "Palestinian Christian" within that article.Greyshark09 (talk) 05:50, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I find it very odd that the history section makes no mention of pre-Arab Christianity in Palestine. I can imagine that the sense of Arab nationalism among Palestinians in general is rather accentuate. I will put the page on my watchlist and make some changes in the future.--Rafy talk 10:49, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Sleiman is maronite, the president has to be, its the system in Lebanon. This is exactly what I read yesterday Rafy and I could not find anything specific that claims non-arab identity...maybe I missed it, but in any case I beleive you. Also about the marada: •لبنان وطن واحد سيّدٌ حرّ وموّحد, رافض لكل اشكال التقسيم والفدراليات ,عربي الهوية والانتماء، منفتح على جميع دول العالم.
( And trust me the FPM is essentially christians, and has the most of the christian votes, even the wikipedia article about fmp says so.Philoleb (talk) 22:09, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Hmm I think I confused Marada with the Guardians of the Cedar. I understand that the FPM is mainly Christian but not "purely" Maronite like the Quwat and Kataeb. Am I right?--Rafy talk 23:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
It is not theoretically "pure" i guess but on the ground it is essentially Christian... however, I think that casting out al the maronites as non arab christians and putting say all the orthodox in the arab chrsitian section could be wrong. Significant number of maronites view themselves as arabs.Philoleb (talk) 00:25, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you that a simple categorisation of "Arab" vs. "non-Arab" is not very useful. I can imagine that you find in the same family some who identify as Arabs and others who don't. If you follow the article's history you'll see that it was previously named "Arabs and Arabic speaking Christians" a consencus was reached to rename it and to include only "obvious Arabs" in the infobox, thus dropping Maronites, Asyrians and Copts.--Rafy talk 01:58, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
This is very true;p I think that if this was the concensus, than we have to go with it, (even though I still beleive that maronites are obvious arabs) but then I think the lebanon section of this article needs some reworking because its mostly talking about maronnites. Could you also take out President Sleiman's picture I don't know how to do that. On another note, I was reading the maronite section in the identiy question section of the article and it says that "In post civil-war Lebanon, since the Taif agreement, politically Phoenicianism, as an alternate to Arabism, has been restricted to a small group" If we assume that all maronites are not arabs we cannot say "small" group. Cheers.Philoleb (talk) 02:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Phoenicianism means both non-Arabness and claiming Phoenician descent as well. One thing is to claim non-Arabness (which might be much more widespread), another is claiming Phoenician descent. In any case there is a notable ethnoreligious group of Maronites, which deserves an article of its own, and since a significant share of Maronites have an identity issie, we mention them under "disputed identity" section, and do not put in the template. By the way Arab Christians are not only Greek Orthodox (or Arab Orthodox), there are also Latin, some Anglican and i think it is as well a consensus that Melkites are considered Arab Christians as well.Greyshark09 (talk) 05:37, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
A lot of anglican come from the maronite chruch... if they are identified as arabs, then maronites should be too, tey are the same people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
There is no doubt that many Maronites converted to protestantism, Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy, etc. I don't think that their numbers are of any significance.--Rafy talk 10:30, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

So, the Lebanese president Michelle Suleiman is out (because he is a Maronite, and Maronites are not strictly defined as "Arab Christians"). The question is now - is there a need to add more people to the template (maybe 2 more), and whom? I suggest John of Damascus and Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, both religious historic figures - a man and a woman, which would add another dimension to politicans, historians and writers already in the template.Greyshark09 (talk) 11:35, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

I added John and Marie into the template.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:13, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

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We should return the title "Arabic-speaking Christians"[edit]

The term "Arab Christian" is quite offensive to those of us who don't consider ourselves Arab! Insisting on the term Arab Christians is very POV! We should return to the NPOV term Arabic-speaking Christians. Just because we speak Arabic doesn't make us Arabs, whether you like it or not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

The article doesn't claim that Maronites are Arabs. Obviously there are some views which advocate this claim and this is duly mentioned here.--Rafy talk 14:19, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
Rafy's words are my words - we have made a long way on this article, and it finally reflects actual matter of things and more or less NPOV and WP:RS. Some improvements still needed though.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:55, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

It seems that this article has been taken over by those with political agendas. I put objective information and sources on it, e.g., Kemal Salibi's House of Many Mansions, and it was immediately removed by those with who are devoted to anti-Arab mythology. Eleanor1944 (talk) 17:04, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

No problem with your sources, just you are not allowed to put them as recommendations in the lead. Put them in "bibliography" section. And speaking of, if you are accusing anyone of political agendas, those should be those who ruined this article in the first place - making it a Ba'athist propaganda piece.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:11, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think Kamal Salibi is a good source for WP:further reading, as most of his views are completely rejected if not ridiculed by his peers.--Rafy talk 20:42, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Section on Orthodox Christians[edit]

It seems to me the "question of identity" section should not include this part - it doesn't really belong and creates more confusion, as it discusses whether the Arab Orthodox or Melkites accept pan-Arabism/Arab nationalism or not, rather than really questioning their self-identity. I know some Arab Orthodox reject pan-Arabism and actually even argue for historic Ghassanid identity and some awkward kind of "Ghassanid" nationalism, but they for sure don't claim to be non-Arab.Greyshark09 (talk) 21:07, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Edits by Eleanor1944[edit]

it seems to me you are a beginner here, since your edits are highly non-encyclopedic and often violate the regulations of WP:LEAD, WP:NPOV and general guidelines of wikipedia. I will not revert you, but most of your edits need to be properly sourced and placed in appropriate sections.Greyshark09 (talk) 21:19, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Eleanor, when providing references, please input them as proper citations, by putting in the following structure:

<ref>Author. ''Title''. Publisher, Editor, Year, Volume, Chapter, pages, "the citation (optional)".</ref>.

Thank you and good journey in being a wikipedian.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:31, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

What does the word "pagan" in the intro mean?[edit]

Here's the text from the intro of this article:

"...the Ghassanids, who adopted Monophosyte Christianity, formed one of the most powerful Arab confederations allied to Christian Byzantium. being a buffer against the pagan tribes of Arabia."

And here's the Wikipedia definition of the word "paganism":

"Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions."

I would really like to know which indigenous religion (or religions) is being discussed there... does anyone know, so we can add it to the article? Obhave (talk) 15:27, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

It is usually considered that the Arab peninsula tribes were prcaticing various polytheistic tribal faiths prior to the arrival of the Abrahamic religions. At first, there were some marginal conversions to Judaism (see also Arab Jews), while Ghassanids were an example for conversion to Christianity. Paganism in the Arabian peninsula included warship of the moon, the sun, and the ancestors. Probably it resembled ancient Semitic religions of the Near East, as we see some parallels to the early Israelite faith, as well as Eblaite and Sinaitic practices. I don't know whether a serious research could be made on this subject since writing existed only in the Southern part of Arabia, prior to the expansion of modern Arabic by the Nabateans.Greyshark09 (talk) 23:06, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

POV in Christians in Palestinian territories section[edit]

This section, which is only supposed to be a summary about Arab Christians in the territories, is clearly and highly POV for several reasons. I tried a bit of cleaning up yesterday, but was promptly reverted. A list of my concerns:

  • The section basically says that even though there are some high-ranking Christian leaders, Palestinian Christians suffer dearly from extremist Muslim abuse. This picture is illustrated by the listing of incidents supported by surely unreliable sources, namely the Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren (whose paid for PR and, relevant to this subject, was the center of a controversy recently when he tried to halt the airing of 60 minutes program about the exodus of Palestinian Christians as a result of the Israeli occupation [38]) and the highly unreliable and biased Christian Broadcasting Network. In particular, the CBN makes outlandish statements that Hamas has attacked churches, Christian homes, graves (even burning the corpses) based on an interview with a disaffected Gazan Christian. Haven't seen any of this in the mainstream media including the mainstream Israeli media. Even if the sources are reliable (such as The Guardian and Haaretz) all we have here is a listing of incidents against Christians (banning Christmas decorations and the killing of a Christian whose bookstore was burnt down and so on).
  • Meanwhile, there is zilch on the systematic abuses or negative consequences of the Israeli occupation, such as the numerous movement restrictions, the blockade on Gaza, the West Bank barrier which encircles Bethlehem/Beit Jala/Beit Sahour, crippling their economies. These, as most people educated on the subject know, are the principal sources of Christian suffering in the territories. Countless reliable sources could be brought to demonstrate that the absence of economic opportunity, the extreme difficulty of accessing the Jerusalem market and gaining building permits, the lower standard of living and the security situation are the causes of the Palestinian Christian exodus.

This section is unique in its POV compared with the rest and hopefully editors here could see that. I am leaning on removing these various incidents as well as those examples of Palestinian leaders and adding more neutral, summarising and relevant information. My revision to the section would be this:

Between 50,000-90,000 Christians live in the Palestinian territories, most of whom belong to the Orthodox and Catholic churches.[Reuters (new ref)] The majority live in the West Bank, mostly in the Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus areas. In 2007, there were 3,200 Christians living in the Gaza Strip.[29] Many Palestinian Arab Christians hold high-ranking positions in Palestinian society, particularly at the political and social levels. Israeli historian Benny Morris writes that Christian-Muslim relations constitute a divisive element in Palestinian society.[30] In recent years, Palestinian Christians have been emigrating from the West Bank in large numbers as a result of measures imposed by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada, including the West Bank barrier and movement and building permit restrictions.[reliable source(s)] There have also been been cases of persecution by radical Islamist elements, particularly in the Gaza Strip.[reliable source(s)]

Also, a brief history of Arab Christians in Palestine from the Christian era would be added eventually as well as statistics about the percentage change in population. Would appreciate a prompt reply so we can move forward. If not I'll assume my proposal is fine and will go ahead and make the changes. --Al Ameer son (talk) 21:05, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Made the changes with some alterations. The alteration basically was an entire passage (instead of two sentences) about the main, systemic reasons for the Palestinian Christian exodus with Palestinian, Israeli and outside views all present. --Al Ameer son (talk) 17:45, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
If i remember correctly, Michael Oren is a certified academic and historian, what is the problem with him? POV is not a problem as long as there is reliability.Greyshark09 (talk) 19:20, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Strong POV[edit]

The current article is in very bad shape and could stand as a symbol for the very worst problems with Wikipedia. In an article on Arab Christians, the two largest Christian churches are excluded. Knowing a bit of the history of the region, I can imagine that the reason is that some nationalist decided that Copts and Marionites aren't really Arabs. That is original research in the extreme. Some very simply facts of the situation: 1. Virtually all sources on Arab Christians include the Copts and the Maronites. 2. While one could make a strong argument that both Copts and Maronites aren't descendants of Arabs, the same goes for almost the whole population of Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. If Wikipedia applied the same standards as those used in this article throughout, we would have to change every article on Arabs. In short: this article is both in conflict with most sources on the matter and in conflict with how Wikipedia deals with the term "Arab" in other articles.Jeppiz (talk) 17:24, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

It seems you missed that there is a big section on Copts, Maronites and Assyrians under title "Question of identity". I moved it up the article for more readability in relevance to Arab Christians proper (including Melchites).Greyshark09 (talk) 18:25, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, it seems I lost a sentence in my first post; I'm thinking about the infobox with the numbers, which doesn't include Copts and Maronites (nor Assyrians). I'd say that Copts and Maronites definitely need to be included. Their language is Arabic, and that's the criteria used to define an Arab in virtually all Wikipedia articles. Stating in the text that many of them don't identify as Arabs, and discuss this situation, is excellent. In the infoxbox, though, I move we define Arab in the same way as elsewhere in Wikipedia articles. Right now, the infobox suggests there is an ethnic different between a Lebanese Maronite and a Lebanese Orthodox, or between and Egyptian Copt and an Egyptian Catholic. Of course there is no such difference, the Lebanese and the Lebanese Orthodox speak the same language and have the same ancestors. The infobox cannot use a different definition of Arab than other infoboxes and articles.Jeppiz (talk) 21:06, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Those two communities have a complex identity that is only partially Arab, unlike Greek Catholic and Orthodox Christians who largely embraced Arab identity, Maronites and Copts are somehow divided in this issue. Let's not forget the Lebanese civil War was fought by Maronites who wished to retain a distinct identity for their country, their defeat was implicitly announced in the Taif Agreement that emphasised the "Arabness" of Lebanon.--Rafy talk 22:11, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Both communities (Copts and Maronites) should be mentioned in the infobox with an asterisk clarifying that not all Maronites and Copts identify as Arab or some other wording along those lines. Politics should be largely left out of the equation when it comes to the infobox and stats should be presented as neutrally as possible. --Al Ameer son (talk) 22:50, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
This is one reason they are not in the infobox, another reason is that they have a separate page, so one can check thir numbers there (unlike Latin, Catholic-Melchite and Orthodox Arab Christians); if Copts and Maronites are included in this infobox it can be considered a strong pan-Arab POV (some Maronites and Copts protested this in the past).Greyshark09 (talk) 06:01, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the suggestions Al Ameer son makes above, and I must disagree with both claims Greyshark09 makes. The fact that a certain population has an article about it never stops it from being presented in other infoboxes. There is a page on Catalans, but that doesn't mean they are not counted in an infobox about the population of Spain, to take but one example. I disagree just as much with the other point. Including all Arab-speaking Christians in an infobox on Arab Christians is certainly not "a strong pan-Arav POV"; it is a neutral decision in line with both the available sources and with common Wikipedia practices. It is the current version, in which sources are ignored and we use a completely different interpretation of "Arab" than in other Wikipedia articles that a strong POV is present. Along with rather strong original research, at that. Articles on Wikipedia should be consistent, and this article is not.Jeppiz (talk) 09:57, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
This article is certainly not consistent with the Ba'ath party propaganda.Greyshark09 (talk) 16:21, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Instead of commenting on factual arguments, you resort to cheap comments. Good to know where you stand and what kind of user you are.Jeppiz (talk) 21:01, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Most specialised academical references do question the "Arabness" of the Maronite and Copts. Most, if not all don't hesitate into putting them in different categories than other Christian groups that are emphatic about their allegiance to Arab Nationalism. Here are some useful references: Pop Culture Arab World!: Media, Arts, and Lifestyle, Language, Memory, and Identity in the Middle East: The Case for Lebanon, Language, Religion And National Identity in Europe And the Middle East:A Historical Study...--Rafy talk 17:34, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. And yes, I agree that most Maronites I know (I know very few Copts) are much reluctant to call themselves Arabs than both Melkites and Greek Orthodox. Still, this article is not for any particular group to decide on, and most people who come here come for the same reason I came: to check the number of Arab Christians. They are not interested in these distinctions, nor are they aware of them. They will leave the article thinking that there are several million Christians less in the Middle East than there are. Another problem, as I already stated, is that the article contradicts several other Wikipedia articles in its current form. Here are the different solutions I would suggest:
1. We change the infobox to include Maronites and Copts, add footnotes that many of them don't consider themselves Arabs and of course discuss it in the article. Those who come to just check on the number of Christians in different Middle Eastern countries will find the correct numbers, those who are interested in the divisions will read the article and also find what they are looking for.
2. We change the title of the article. Lots of different options, but "Arab-speaking Christians" or "Christians in the Middle East" seem like two obvious candidates.
What we should not to is to leave the article in its current format, which is quite clearly POV as the infobox only represent the view that Maronites and Copts aren't Arabs, as it contradicts several academic works on the subject and as it contradicts several other Wikipedia articles.Jeppiz (talk) 21:01, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
There is an article on Christianity in the Middle East, including all the groups of Christian faith; while this article was agreed to be named "Arab Christians" by a great majority of users to reduce confusion - "Arabic-speaking Christians" are all the multi-ethnic Christians in the world who matter to speak Arabic, whether as mother tongue or via a university. This article aims to describe Arab Christians proper. Actually, there is even a user who claims that Orthodox Christians of Lebanon are an "ethnoreligious" group themselves (see [39]), but that is too radical.Greyshark09 (talk) 21:39, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Good points, thank you. The problem is, who defines who is "Arab proper". I certainly don't want to impose the label on anyone, but I'm anxious that the article is as helpful as possible for readers with little knowledge, and it respects sources. Had I not known that there are Maronites and Copts, I would have left this article thinking there are 300.000 Christians in Egypt. A further problem is that the article contradicts itself. It has an infobox claiming 300.000 Arabic Christians in Egypt and a map claiming 8.5 million Arab Christians in Egypt. Same problem for Lebanon.Jeppiz (talk) 21:52, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

I basically don't mind adding them given a proper disclaimer is provided in the infobox.--Rafy talk 23:58, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm aware of the map issue, but this map is not a good source - i guess a better one should be presented; if a person thinks that Arab League is populated only by Arabs, that is a much deeper problem of understanding the Middle East, than this article can solve. In any case, i would agree to add Maronites and Copts to infobox if we keep some kind of distinction (for example "Egypt: 300,000 (also 8,200,000 Copts)"; "Lebanon: 300,000 (also 1.1 million Maronites)".Greyshark09 (talk) 06:04, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
I think Greyshark's proposal works fine until we get some credible stats on the percentages of Copts and Maronites that identify as Arab or non-Arab, whenever that day comes. --Al Ameer son (talk) 07:28, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you all, adding Maronites and Copts to the infobox but adding disclaimer is probably the best. I certainly don't want to push any identification on any group, just make sure that the average reader who takes a quick look doesn't leave thinking that the number of Arabic-speaking Christians is less than 50% of what it actually is.Jeppiz (talk) 17:19, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes check.svg Done per discussion above.Greyshark09 (talk) 11:25, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Why are Copts and Maronites excluded?[edit]

Why are Copts and Maronites excluded?PacificWarrior101 (talk) 15:28, 21 December 2012 (UTC)PacificWarrior101

Many do not identify as Arab ("Arab" is more of an identity/language-based pan-ethnicity), but some do and all speak Arabic. Therefore, they are included in the article, albeit with a clarification that not all identify as Arab. See the above discussion for more information on the matter. --Al Ameer son (talk) 16:52, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Copts and Maronites are native to Egypt and Lebanon respectively, therefore they should be included in the populations of their native countries as part of the overall populations. Your numbers make it appear as if there are only thousands of Christians in Egypt and not up to 11 million!!! Retitle the article as 'Middle Eastern Christians' if it only refers to populations that are genetically arab. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Arab Christians are not the same as Middle Eastern Christians, because Middle East is not only Arab (just to remind you - Turks, Kurds, Iranians, Cypriots...).GreyShark (dibra) 21:31, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Sure, but Copts and Maronites are Arabic speakers. When one refers more broadly to Egyptians and Lebanese as "Arabs" one is generally not making an ethnic judgement but a linguistic. In other words, Copts and Maronites are no more or less "Arab" than the majority of the population of Egypt and Lebanon.
However, there is one complexity here - nationalism. See Pharaonism and Phoenicianism. Oncenawhile (talk) 11:40, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
The currently presented solution to show Copts and Maronites in the infobox, but with separate statistics, and explain about each case in the body of the article is the best so far.GreyShark (dibra) 15:13, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Role in Al Nahda[edit]

I found that the content given under role in Al Nahda is impossible to read as it is written by someone who just translated it from Arabic using some software that has not given the correct translation. In order to adhere to wikipedia standards and for readability, this content should be translated properly for the sake of the readers. Rejoice talk 09:40, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Indeed, i tried to improve it, but it still is unreadable.Greyshark09 (talk) 10:17, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
It is still more or less unintelligible. Enkyklios (talk) 08:19, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

What happened to Philip and John of Damacus?[edit]

What happened to Philip the Arab and John of Damascus? They were very influential Arabs of the Christian faith.PacificWarrior101 (talk) 03:20, 18 January 2013 (UTC)PacificWarrior101

Do you mean in the infobox collage? The former's Arab identity is disputed, but the latter is Arab. His portrait is found later in the article. --Al Ameer son (talk) 03:36, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

That's is true, I just had a discussion about Philip the Arab on the Arabs article. (talk) 20:22, 20 January 2013 (UTC)PacificWarrior101


The number of Christians in Syria and Jordan in the Sidebar is at variance with the numbers in the text which are more reliable. There are more than 350-700,000 Christians in Syria -- more like 10--12% of the population. The figure of 200,000 was given in the second paragraph and is at variance with the estimates in the Sidebar on the right and the section on Syria. The same is true for Jordan. A figure of 100,00 was given,but in the section on this country the number is 4000,000 which is closer to the facts. The demographics need improvement to say the least.Alexander Domanda (talk) 22:39, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

See above discussion - editors and readers tend to confuse "Christians" in Arab countries (some of whom are Arabs) with "Arab Christians". In Syria, the biggest group of Christians is in fact Assyrians (and Maronites), who are not Arabs per general definition. Same is true in Jordan. Arab Christians are a separate group from Syriacs and Maronites, with different history and distinctive communities.GreyShark (dibra) 20:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)


Just of a note people, I might be changing the infobox to make it resemble to one on the Arabs article, and try to include a couple ancient and medieval Arab Christians, and Arab Christians from each nation. Isaac of Nineveh can fit both an ancient Arab Christian and representative of Bahrain. PacificWarrior101 (talk) 15:15, 1 June 2014 (UTC)PacificWarrior101

Christians in Lebanon[edit]

The article says "It is known that Christians made up between 65%-85%[44] of Lebanon's population before the Lebanese Civil War, if not more", giving this article as the source; reading the supposed source I can't find nothing to support these numbers (but the source article is long and I can have not noticed some details); if anything, the source article says that the census 1932 counted litle more that half of the population as Christian. And I find much dubiois that before the civil war the christians in Lebanon could be "85% (...) if not more" (a civil war where one of the sides - who also, afaik, controled the national army - had more than 85% of the population should ended very quick)--MiguelMadeira (talk) 10:35, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

First of all, i don't see how relevant it is to talk about Lebanese Christians here, because the topic is Arab Christians (Lebanon has several Christian denominations, only some of them are Arab, majority of Maronites with disputed Arab identity and also other ethnic groups such as Armenians and Assyrians). This section should belong to Christianity in the Middle East.GreyShark (dibra) 13:19, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
This passage was added by an IP at 4 December 2010, without sources. The "source" only was added, again by an IP, at 22 September 2012. If there is not objections in the next days (or unless someone points to soma passage in the alleged "source" confirming these numbers), I will remove the passage--MiguelMadeira (talk) 13:29, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Genetic analysis or cultural association?[edit]

This article was unhelpful and inconsistent, and the talk page shows why this is so.

The genetic analysis looked promising, but it was poorly written and cited few articles. Not sure whether is due to the sparsity of data or lack of care in synthesizing this.

But it really comes down to, who is an Arab? Is it really necessary to slice and dice peoples' DNA to figure out that although their ethnic group lived in Arab countries and spoke Arabic for centuries, they might not be Arabs? If a group lives in Lebanon, and is Christian, and speaks Arabic, and shares about as much of whatever allele as the Muslim population, but some subset of it doesn't like to think of itself as Arab, for political reasons especially, who are they trying to fool?

Come up with objective criteria for who is an Arab, and stick with it. Then divide it up by religion. If there are multiple scholarly views on this, then acknowledge that, but go with the currently predominant view. This article needs some heavy-handed administration.

Bsfreer7 (talk) 00:28, 8 October 2014 (UTC)Bsfreer7

Infobox and definition[edit]

New article editors are kindly advised to read the above consensus prior to editing the infobox and the definition of "Arab Christians". The community has decided certain guidelines for this page, and if there are minority opinions who would like to challenge it - please make a proper suggestion. So far it is decided that Maronites, Chaldo-Assyrians and Copts are excluded from infobox, as their Arab identity is a matter of controversy. Further definition of Arab Christians is mostly ethno-religious, though we do mention the cultural association as well (in case of Copts, Maronites and Assyrians). See above conversations for more.GreyShark (dibra) 17:45, 15 February 2015 (UTC)


Following the previous failed proposal to merge Arab Orthodox -> Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, it seems to me that first of all Arab Orthodox article is completely redundant, with the only piece of valuable text dealing with Arab Christian attempt in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to gain clergy status in Orthodox Churches (which are packed with ethnic Greeks), and secondly that this content should probably belong to Arab Christians article. Some information about the definition of "Rum Christians" can also go to disputed identity section in Arab Christians article.GreyShark (dibra) 17:16, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Support per nomination. Ariel 18:55, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - merged (though there was very little to merge).Yes check.svg Done However, the Arab Orthodox redirect is now pointing to the Arab Orthodox Society.GreyShark (dibra) 19:38, 14 April 2015 (UTC)