CWN - The Christian population in nine Middle Eastern states is 14,526,000, down from 14,740,000 in 2010, according to a report published by the Vatican newspaper.

The total population of Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey is 258 million.

The report draws on a recent study by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association on Christians in the Middle East. The study documented sharp recent and historical declines in Christian population:

  • in Syria, from 2.2 million (2010) to 1.2 million
  • in Egypt, from 19% of the population (1910) to 10%
  • in Lebanon, from 53% (1932) to less than 40%
  • in Jerusalem, from 20% (1946) to less than 2%
  • in Palestine, from 20% (1948) to 1.2%

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he who praises Christ amid the congregation of men. 

St. Isaac the Syrian