Arab Christians
العرب المسيحيين
Palestinian singing
Palestinian Christians signing Bible hymns
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Egypt Egypt 15,350,000 [1][2]
Lebanon Lebanon 1,142,000 [3]
Syria Syria 1,800,000 [4]
United States United States 2,205,000 [5]
Palestine Palestine 349,000 [6]
Jordan Jordan 400,000 [7]
Israel Israel 122,000 [8]
Brazil Brazil 15-17 million [9]
Argentina Argentina 3,500,000 [10]
Mexico Mexico 1.1 million [11]
Turkey Turkey 10,000 [12]
Iraq Iraq 10,000 [13]
Australia Australia 160,000 [14]

Arabic, Hebrew

Diaspora languages

French, Spanish, Portuguese


Greek Orthodox Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Arab Orthodox Church
Maronite Catholic Church*
Coptic Church*
Roman Catholicism
Independent Christian sections

Related ethnic groups

Assyrians, Arameans, Arabs, Jewish people, other Semitic groups

Apteryx(*) Members may not consider themselves Arabs

Arab Christians (Arabic: العرب المسيحيين  Al-'Arab Al-Masihiyin) are ethnic Arabs or native-Arabic speakers and those from the Arab World that are adherents to the monotheistic and Abrahamic religion of Christianity. Many Arab Christians today are descendants of non-Arabs and Christian natives of the Middle East that were Arabized as a result of the Arab and Islamic conquest. Some Arab Christians did form kingdoms, such as the Ghassanids and the Lakhmids. They also dominated much of the Al-Nahda (Arabic: النهضة), the literary movement for the Arab people during Ottoman rule. 

Etymology and UsageEdit

The Arabic term for a Christian, Al-Masihiyin originates from the word "Masih" which is Arabic for "the Messiah", the Biblical and Islamic moniker used for Jesus Christ who is known as "Yashu" with most Arabic-speaking Christians rather than "Issa" in Islam.

At the time of the early Arab migrations to the Americas, which were Christian migrations, the usage of the term Arab had not come into use. Since the Levant was under Ottoman rule, these people were usually referred to as "Ottomans" or "Turks" and not Arabs or Arab Christians for this matter, since many carried Ottoman documents. In Latin America, many famous footballers of Arab descent have attained the moniker El Turco which means The Turk in Spanish. Those from Syria referred to their native language as "Syrian" rather than Arabic.

The term "Arab Christian" has sparked contrevoursy. The reason for such a term can apply to the demographic and linguistic definitions of an Arab, which is one who legally resides in an Arab state and has command of the Arabic language. This definition covers approximately tens of millions of Christians living in the Arab World. However, the amount of those Christians who truly consider themselves to be ethnically Arab are much lower in number despite speaking Arabic as a native language.

The reason for this is simple, many Christians in the Arab World today (particularily the Copts of Egypt and the Maronites of Lebanon) are descendants of native non-Arabs that adopted Arab culture during the Islamic expansion.


Early History and Ancestry Edit

Arab Christians are native to the Middle East, Christianity was the second (third according to some sources) earliest monotheistic religion practiced in the Arab World and predates Islam. The other two were Judaism, and a monotheistic faith that Islamic texts refer to as "Rahamanism" which were practiced in South Arabia. At the time that early Christianity arrived in what is today the Arab World, such as Egypt and North Africa, the former was not Arab territory and were inhabited by native people. Much of the Arab Christians today are descended from many non-Arab natives of these Christian sections, such as the mentioned Copts of Egypt; and the Maronites of Lebanon, an Aramean-descended group that is today considered Arab because their native language is Arabic (mostly Lebanese and Israeli/Palestinian Arabic). These groups resisted and avoided converting to Islam.

Arrival of Christianity in the Arab WorldEdit

The Christian Bible records an incident when Arabs attended Pentecost in Acts 2:11, "....(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!". Christianity was introduced into North Africa (which is today Arab territory, not the former) were introduced during Roman annexation, same fell for the existing Arab communities in the Levant and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The city of Najran in Saudi Arabia was a haven for Arabian Christians, due to the high amount of Christian preachers in that particular Arabian city. Najran was also under control from the Aksumites, an African Christian kingdom.It had also been a home for Arabian Jews. Early Christian contexts were not written in Arabic, as Arabic did not have a main writing system as we do today. Most Christian texts written by Arab communities (if any) were in Syriac, Hebrew and Greek which were not only the lingua francas spoken by most Arab communities at the time, they were also the writing systems used for the Arabic dialects spoken in the Levant. Some Arab tribes did not speak Arabic at all, and adopted the mentioned major languages as their native toungue but continued to inhabit the deserts of the Middle East or descended from tribes, people like the Roman Emperor Philip the Arab, who is of Arabian descent but no evidence of any Arabic fluency exists as he spoke Latin. The earliest Arabic Christian text was found in the Umayyad Mosque, which dates to the eighth century A.D., which was a translation of the Old Testament in Arabic.[15] The Latin Roman Empire and Greek Byzantine Empire later extended the Christian influence on confederations of Arab tribes in what is today Syria, Iraq and Bahrain. The Ghassanids and Lakhmids were two Arab Christian vassal kingdoms that served as buffer zones and protectors against the Pagan Arabian tribes.

Arab Christian KingdomsEdit

Ghassanid and Lakhmid ConfederationsEdit

In 220 A.D., a shiekh from southern Yemen by the name of Jafnah I ibn 'Amr, leader of a tribe known as the Banu Ghassan (Arabic: بني غسان), emigrated with his family to Syria. King Jafnah and his descendants established a powerful state that spanned from southern Syria and western Iraq. The state was known as the Ghassanid Kingdom (220-712 A.D.), named after the death of their last king - Ghassan Al-Hourani.

The ancient city of Palmyra in Syria

The Ghassanids became a close ally and vessel of the Byzantine Empire, the eastern Greek remnant and latter continuation of the Roman Empire that used these Arabs to guard the empire from invasions and outside-threats.[16] Similarly in 268, another clan leader of the Banu Lakhm by the name of 'Amr I ibn Adi settled in what is now southern Iraq and established the Lahkmid state, a reminiscent and neighbor of the Ghassanids; which lasted from around 268-638.[17] The Lakhmids established their kingdom in the city of Al-Hira (Arabic: آل حراء) in Iraq which is regarded as one of the first Arab states outside of Arabia. The Ghassanids and Lakhmids were both one of the earliest kingdoms other than the Nabataeans to embrace Arabic as a lingua franca, giving the language a pre-cursor to becoming a major language. These two vassal states emerged to become very powerful protectorates for the Byzantine Empire and did well to protect it from the invading Pagan Arabians.

Shihab (Chehab) Dynasty 1697-1842Edit

The Emirate of Mount Lebanon (Arabic: إمارة جبل لبنان), a mountainous empire located around the mountain region of the same name with no exact borders, were ruled by two dynasties. The first ruling family were known as the Maans, who descended from an Arabian tribe known as the Banu Ma'an (Arabic: بني معن) that emerged into a Druze family, with some Sunni Muslim members. The following dynasty was known as the Shihab (also spelled as Chehab) Dynasty (Arabic: أسرة شهاب) which was descended from the Quraish tribe from Mecca and Medina, the same of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Bashir Shihab II (Arabic: بشير شهاب الثاني) converted from Sunni Islam to Maronite Catholicism, initially becoming the first Christian emir (Arab ruler) of Mount Lebanon. The Abu-Lamma clan and other Arab nobilities also converted to Christianity afterwards, which was marked by the expulsion of Druze power in the mountain region. The Shihab rule dissoluted under the reign of Bashir Shihab III.

Arab Christians Under Muslim RuleEdit

The treatment of Arab Christians varied under different kinds of Muslim rulers. Under moderate Muslim ruler, the Christians enjoyed the dhimmi status. A dhimmi (Arabic: الذمي) is a non-Muslim inhabitant of a Muslim state. Dhimmis enjoyed religious freedom so long as they paid the jizyah (Arabic: الجزية) - the obligatory tax for non-Muslims,  Arab Christians had enjoyed generally peaceful existances during the Umayyad and Ottoman-era rule, many of them taking roles in the clergy. John of Damascus (Arabic: جون دمشق) for example was a Syrian monk and priest from Damscus during the Umayyad-rule that led on the foundations for the teachings of certain Eastern Christian sections today, mostly the Greek Orthodox Church. He is a much canonized saint in most churches today, whether it be the Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic churches. Isaac of Nineveh (Arabic: إسحاق النينوي) was a Christian bishop and theologian from what is today Bahrain. Harsher policies were enforced on Christians during the Abbasid and Fatimid rule, in which Islam gained a stronger foothold in politics. Palestine and Israel, which the Muslims had gained control of during their victory against the European Christian armies during The Crusades, had a large Christian population that most of the Muslim rulers ordered to be unharmed, who had suffered more harsh persecution under the rule of European Catholics. When North Africa was Arabized and Islamized, most of the Muslim rulers too, ordered their armies not to destroy churches especially in Egypt which had already been home to a thriving Coptic Christian and Greek Orthodox population.

Al-Nahda and Arab-Israeli ConflictEdit

In 1948, Britain's hold of Mandatory Palestine expired and was replaced with a Jewish state, which brought anger and upset amongst the Arab World and those in Palestine that culminated into the Arab-Israeli Conflict. The wars were a result of the conflicting nationalisms between Arabs and Jews (Zionism) during the Ottoman and British era. The Arab nationalism was known as Al-Nahda (Arabic: النهضة) which literally means "The Awakening" or even "Renaissance" in Arabic - because of its cultural and literary nature, and it was dominated by Arab Christians which included important authors, scholars and poets. Arab nationalism's history traces back to the rule of Muhammad Ali Pasha, a Turko-Albanian ruler who ruled Egypt and Sudan for the Ottoman Empire. The presence of Christian missionaries in the Middle East had also "awakened" the awareness for Arabic language and culture. As far as support or opposition to Israel's creation, it varied between Arab Christian groups. For example, those from Syria and the Palestinian territories tended to reject the state of Israel while certain sections like the Maronites from Lebanon - supported Israel and implemented harsh policies, even carried out persecutions against Palestinian refugees.

Mass Migration to AmericasEdit

Persecution from the Ottoman rulers, civil wars and the Arab-
Little Syria

Artist's painting of "Little Syria" in the 1800s

Israeli Conflict has resulted in a huge migration of Arab Christians to the Americas over the centuries, mostly Latin America in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Prominent Latin American politicians and figures such as Paulo Maluf of Brazil, former Argentine president Carlos Menem and Mexican bussuiness magnate Carlos Slim are descendants of Lebanese or other Arab migrants to these nations. Although they tend to be Maronite Catholics, their descendants have assimilated and are mainly Roman Catholics. Arab migration to the United States began as early as the 1800s, these were Christian migrations and at the time, the Arab World had been under Ottoman rule. The earliest Arab American communities was in New York City, in Manhattan Island which historians call "Little Syria", a Christian community of a melting pot of migrants from different Arab nations that included but not limited to Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Although they were labaled as "Ottomans" or "Turks", and "Turcos" in Latin America since the time of the migrations occured during Ottoman rule of the Arab World and they carried Ottoman passports. The mass migrations of Christians has devastated the religious balance between the Muslims and Christians of Lebanon, which had been a predominantly-Christian nation. In America today, the largest Arab American community is located in Detroit, Michigan which is the center of culture for Arabs living in the United States although most recent migrants are Muslim.

Arab Christians TodayEdit

Today Arab Christians are well-integrated into societies. This becomes especially true in Lebanon where one has to be a Maronite Catholic in order to be its president, while Sunni Muslims take on lesser roles. However, the security of Arab Christians have been turublent due to certain Islamic militant groups such as the Muslim Brother and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In Israel and the Palestinian territories, Arab Christians are very predominant and important - and are among one of the most educated groups. Palestinians have recently dominated the many Christian clergies (Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Protestant) in Israel and Palestine. They have also become high-ranking politicians in Israel. 

Diaspora Arab ChristiansEdit

Members of the Arab diaspora in the Americas have also risen to make a name in history. Thanks to the work of Ralph Nader, an American politician of Lebanese descent, a book titled Unsafe at Any Speed, laws have now been passed in the United States that allowed for safer automobile conditions for drivers and the manufacturers producing them. Nader still speaks native Arabic, and has spoken it since his childhood. As mentioned above, influential Brazilian and Argentine politicians were also Arab Christians. Carlos Menem, a former president of Argentina helped the nation through its most turbulent times. Although Menem had originally been born an Alawite Muslim of Syrian origin, one had to be a Roman Catholic to be Argentine president. Discrimination continues to be a problem for Arab Christians in the United States. After the September 11 attacks, Arab Americans have been subject to discriminations, since they were mistaken to be Muslim. The city of Dearborn in Michigan contains the largest concentration of Arab Americans and hosts the International Arab Festival. However, it has sometimes been cancelled to the presence of (non-Arab) Christian anti-Islamic protestors who mistake the festival to be a Muslim event celebrating Islam.[18]

Christians and the Arab Pan-EthnicityEdit

Many of today's Arab Christians are descendants of non-Arab tribes that adopted Arabic as a native language once the Muslims expanded Islam in the Middle East. The Maronites of Lebanon and Syria are descended from non-Arab but related northern Semitic tribes known as the Arameans and the Phoenicians, the Copts of Egypt and North Africa are descended from native Egyptians, and the other Christians of North Africa are descended from the native Berbers that were Christianized via Greek and Roman influence, although most Berbers today are Muslim. Despite being native Arabic-speakers, many of these Christians have rejected the Arab pan-ethnicity especially with the inception of oppressive parties such as the socalist Ba'athist Party that operated in Syria and Iraq. Some Maronites however, such as the famous Lebanese singer Fairuz (Arabic: فيروز) have embraced the Arab pan-ethnic group. The Assyrians, an ethno-religious Christian group from Iraq, are considered Arab Christians in Israel but not in Iraq, although the Ba'athist party that operated in Iraq and Syria often referred to them as Arab Christians and forced them to label themselves as such. In Israel, a law was recently passed allowing the 117,000 Arabic-speaking Christian citizens of Israel to register their ethnicity as Aramean and not Arab. It is all thanks to seven-year efforts by Aramean Maronite Catholic nationalists, and although Arabic-speaking, considered their Aramean descent over their linguistic Arab identity. Many of them are also pro-Israel. 



Arab Christians speak Arabic just like their Muslim counterparts, speaking the respective dialects of their home countries of the Arab World. The Maronite Catholics are mostly speakers of the Levantine dialects of Arabic, which is known as the Shami dialects (Arabic: الشامي العربية). The Copts either speak Egyptian or Sudanese Arabic and those in Iraq speak Mesopatamian Arabic. In the tiny island nation of Cyprus, there is a dialect spoken by the Maronite community
Arabic Bible

A Christian Bible in Arabic text, used in an Arabic-speaking Baptist Church

which is known as Cypriot Maronite Arabic. Bahrain and Kuwait also have small native Christian populations that speak Gulf Arabic. To those Al-Nahda members, the Arabic language has been a very important and integral part of culture.

Hebrew, Spanish and PortugueseEdit

Due to the high emigration of Arab Christians in Latin America, most of their descendants are only fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, with limited to no knowledge of Arabic. However, in Morocco, there is a large population that can speak fluent Spanish which can either partain to Spanish students in Morocco or descendants of the Moors. As for the Arab Christians living in Israel and the Palestinian territories, they speak Hebrew, another Semitic language, as a second language to communicate with the non-Arabs that populate the majority of the State of Israel.

Writing System and Arabic Translations of Christian TextsEdit

The Arabic language spoken by most Arab Christians differs no more than that spoken by their Muslim counterparts. It is written in the native Arabic-Kufic script that Yarub invented. It is today known as the Tanakh script (Arabic: النصي تناخ). The Cypriot Maronite Dialect of Arabic is written in the Greek and Latin scripts and the Maltese language, an Arabic-descended language spoken in the tiny island nation of Malta is written in the Latin script. Although Maltese people do not consider themselves Arabs. Copies of the Bible are available in Arabic translations. Although because of the difference between sentence structuring depending on word and phrase usage in the Arabic language, translations can differ. Also, many Arabic Bibles use modern-day educational Arabic with literal translations of Christian terms in Arabic, while some incorporate Islamic influence and adopt some Classical Arabic terms. The two most commonly used Arabic versions of the Bible are the Van Dyke and the Sharif translation.

Arabic Translations of John 3:16
Van Dyke لأنه هكذا أحب الله العالم حتى بذل ابنه الوحيد لكي لا يهلك كل من يؤمن به بل تكون له الحياة الأبدية.
Sharif Bible أحب الله كل الناس لدرجة أنه بذل ابنه الوحيد لكي لا يهلك كل من يؤمن به، بل ينال حياة الخلود.

Liturgical LanguagesEdit

Most Arab Christians do not use Arabic as a liturgical language, as their Muslim counterparts do. Most Arab Christians belongs to Syriac or Greek churches, that used these two languages as liturgical languages. The Syriac language is a dialect of Aramaic, which was once the language of Syria and Lebanon. The Maronite Catholic Church uses Syriac and Maronite as liturgical languages. The Coptic language is the last surviving form of an ancient Egyptian language, and like others, no educationally-spoken version exists and is only used in the church. The Coptic language is the strict official language of the Coptic Church inside and outside of Egypt. Those that belong to the Protestant, Baptist or Anglican churches are able to learn the English language. The Arabs who follow the Roman Catholic Church use Latin as a liturgical language.

Religious SectionsEdit

Arab Christians follow a diverse melting pot of Christian sections, that range from major churches such as the Roman Catholic Church or Greek Orthodox Church (with some Protestant followers) or indigenous churches such as the Coptic Church, Maronite Catholic Church or Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Many of the indigenous churches are of non-Arab upbringings, mostly Syriac and Greek-speaking churches.

Coptic Church of EgyptEdit

The Coptic Church is native to Egypt, and was introduced by Saint Mark during the reign of of the tyrannical Roman emperor Nero long before Arabs arrived. Saint Mark was one of four important evangelists that brought Christianity outside of Europe. The earliest texts belonging to this church were written in the Coptic language, a language that was native to Egypt at the time. The city of Alexandria in Egypt become a stronghold of Christianity in Africa, where the Coptic Church established its jurisdiction over the entire African continent. Most Copts are in Egypt, ranging from 5,000,000 to 15,000,000 followers (most living in Alexandria) with small communities and groups of followers living in Sudan and expatriats in the United States.[19] The Coptic Church contains the highest native Christian population of the Middle East.

Greek Orthodox ChurchEdit

The Greek Orthodox Church was one of the earliest major churches to reach the Arab World, all of the Levantine countries (Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon) contain communities of followers along with Egypt. Greek influence encompasses most of the Christianity from the Arab World, including some Catholic sections let alone the Coptic Church. The Greek Orthodox Church has played an essential role in the lives of followers from Syria and the Palestinian territories where many Arabs are part of the clergy and even parts of Palestinian freedom groups.

Roman CatholicismEdit

Many Arabs or people of Arab origin are also adherents to the Roman Catholic Church, like the Coptic Church most of them are located in North Africa and Palestinian territories and comprise the majority faith practiced by the expatriat and diaspora populations in Latin America with a very small existant populations in Arabian nations such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (Latin: Vicariatus Apostolicus Arabiæ Settentrionale) is a Catholic church that operates in Arabian nations, although no churches exist in Saudi Arabia since the strict presence of Islam in Saudi politics has banned Christians from operating any houses of worship. Notable Arab countries with Catholic communities include Morocco, Libya, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Arab clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church have become very dominant in the Palestinian territories and Israel, replacing Italians. In 1987. Palestinian Catholic archbishop Michel Sabbah became the first non-Italian to become Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. He was succeeded by a Jordanian-born Palestinian archbishop by the name of Fouad Twal.

Maronite CatholicismEdit

Maronite Catholicism is native to Lebanon, like the Coptic Church, it is non-Arab upbringing and originates from Antioch and is of Syriac (Aramean) upbringing and many of its followers do not consider themselves Arabs. The anti-Arab sentiment within the Maronites has been a causing factor to the civil wars in Lebanon. It was introduced by Roman rulers to Mount Lebanon and later emerged as an off-shoot from the Roman Catholic Church. The church itself was founded by Maron (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܡܪܘܢ, Arabic: مار مارون) who was monk, although his origins are unknown. Most Maronites are in Lebanon where they once made up the predominant populations (until civil wars disrupted the balance), with some communities in Syria and Israel. The Maronites of Israel have developed a Hebrew and Aramaic-like toungue, different from their Lebanese counterparts, although Israeli Arabic is still their native language (it is commonly known as Palestinian Arabic by Muslims and Arab nationalists). The Israeli city of Jish (Arabic: الجش) or Gush Halav (Hebrew: גוש חלב) is predominantly inhabited by Maronite Catholics who are trying to revive the Neo-Aramaic language and do not consider themselves Arab at all. They are mostly pro-Israel Lebanese militants and their families and descendants who fled the nation after the Israeli forces withdrew following th 2006 Lebanon War. The Maronite Catholic Church is a very important religious heritage in Lebanon. In Lebanon, one has to be a Maronite Catholic in order to be president.

Melkite Greek Catholic ChurchEdit

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church (Arabic: كنيسة الروم الملكيين الكاثوليك) is a Greek Catholic church that operates in Syria although its territory encompasses both the Levant and North Africa. Like most other churches, its liturgical text is written in the Syriac language with Greek contexts and its followers and clergy are native-Arabic speakers.

Other SectionsEdit

Other Arab Christians follow either non-denominational and independant churches, other major sections with existing Arabic-speaking followers include but not limited to the Jehovah's Witnesses, Protestant, Anglican and other English-speaking Churches and Evangelical groups.

Notable Arab Christians or Christians of Arab OriginEdit

Philip the Arab
فيليب العربى
Philip the Arab
Roman emperor from Syria, then the Roman province of Arabia Petraea who made peace with the Sassanid Empire upon Rome's millenial celebration - he was the 33rd Emperor "ceasar" of the Roman Empire, he allegedly adopted Christianity altough this is in dispute but was known to be sympathetic to Roman Christians, he is descended from a Yemeni tribe that migrated to Syria 
Bashir Shihab II
بشير شهاب الثاني
Bashir Shihab II
A Lebanese prince of the royal Chehab Dynasty that is descended from Mecca, who ruled Mount Lebanon during the first half of the 19th century, he converted from Sunni Islam to Maronite Catholicism and become the first Maronite emir, he is descended from the Quraish tribe - the Arabian tribe that the Islamic prophet Muhammad belonged to
John of Damascus
يوحنا الدمشقي
A priest and monk from Syria who is one of the founding fathers of Eastern Christianity, multilingual in Arabic, Greek and other languages that defended the use of icons in Greek churches, known as the "Doctor of the Church" and is honored in both Orthodox and Catholic churches
Isaac of Nineveh
اسحق من نينوى
An Assyrian theologian and bishop, a native of what today Bahrain, he was popular for his works calling for inner spirituality in the church, he is also regarded as a saint in the Church of the East, the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and among the Oriental Orthodox Churches, making him the last saint chronologically to be recognised by every apostolic Church. His feast day falls on January 28.
Abo of Tiflis
أبو التبليسي
Sain Abo
A Christian martyr and patron saint of the city of Tbilisi in Georgia, he grew up a Muslim but converted to Christianity upon his arrival in East Georgia, he was born in Iraq and was a native Baghdadi Arab
Faris al-Khoury
فارس الخوري
Faris Khoury
A Syrian statesman, Prime Minister, speaker of Parliment and "Godfather" of modern Syrian politics, serving his nation for over fifty years, to this day, his time as Prime Minister of Syria has been the highest position ever held by a Christian, he was born into a Greek Orthodox family that converted to Presbyterianism
Michel Aflaq
ميشيل عفلق
Syrian sociologist and Arab nationalist that contributed to the creation of Ba'athism, he is considered by many Ba'athists to be considered the founder of the thought itself, the notion that the Arab World needed to be unified into one Arab Nation to overcome obstacles, he was a Greek Orthodox Christian
Qustaki al-Himsi
قسطاكي الحمصي

A Syrian writer and poet of the Nahda movement (the Arabic renaissance), a prominent figure in the Arabic literature of the 19th and 20th centuries and one of the first reformers of the traditional Arabic poetry. With his book The researcher's source in the science of criticism, al-Himsi is considered to be the founder of modern literary criticism among the Arab scholars, he was likely a Roman Catholic (he attended Roman Catholic school)

Suleiman Mousa
سليمان الموسى
Sulaiman Musa

A Jordanian author and historian. He wrote many books of which most prominent are "The Biography of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali", "Jordan in the 1948 War", "The Great Arab Revolt", "History of Jordan in the 20th century", and was the first and only Arab author to write about Lawrence of Arabia and show the Arab perspective.

A Lebanese singer, who is one of the most famous, well- respected and prominent singers of the Arab World, her songs are extremely popular throughout the entire Arab World and is a national music pride of Lebanon, she was born into a Syriac Christian family but joined the Greek Orthodox Church after marrying the famous Syrian musician Assi Rahbani
Philip Khuri Hitti
فيليب خوري حتي
A Lebanese-American historian and scholar\ who introduced Arab and Islamic cultural studies to the United States, he is a Maronite Catholic. He was a distant relative of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher-astronaut who was killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. McAuliffe's mother was Hitti's niece.
Ameen Rihani
أمين الريحاني
Ameen Rihani

A Lebanese-American writer, intellectual and political activist. He was also a major figure in the mahjar literary movement developed by Arab emigrants in North America, and an early theorist of Arab nationalism. He was a Maronite Catholic.

May Ziade
مي زيادة‎
May Ziade
A Lebanese-Palestinean poet, translator, essayist. A prolific figure in her career, she wrote for Arabic-language newspapers and periodcials and produced a number of books and poems, and was known to be an early Palestinian femanists. She was a Roman Catholic.
Tawfiq Canaan
توفيق كنعان
Tawfiq Canaan
A medical researcher, ethnographer, doctor, physician and a Palestinian nationalist who has authored more than 37 health subjects in Palestine operating in several hospitals, he was also a mystical believer and in Palestinian folklore, collecting talismans of believed supernatural powers, he also worked as a doctor for the Ottomans, he was a Lutheran Christian
George Habash
جورج حبش
Also known as "Iaqab al-Hakim", a prominent Palestinian nationalist who found the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and served as General-Secretary of the Palestine Front to 2000, he was an Eastern Orthodox Christian
Michel Sabbah
ميشيل صباح
Michel Sabbah

The Archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1987 to 2008, the first non-Italian and first native Palestinian to hold this position in more than five centuries. Sabbah began his priestly studies at the Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala in October 1949 and was ordained a priest for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in June 1955. He also became a teacher of the Arabic language and Islamic studies in Djibouti for a while. He also an avid Palestinian activist and speaks on behalf of the rights of Palestinian people.

Fouad Twal
البطريرك فؤاد طوال‎
A Jordanian-born Palestinian archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church who is the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (since 2008) and the Grand Prior of the  Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, he succeeded Michel Sabbah
Emile Habibi
إميل حبيبي‎
Emile Habibi
An Palestinian communist politician in Israel and author of Arabic expression, considered the 143rd greatest Israeli out of 200 great Israelis also an Al-Nahda member, he was born to a Greek Orthodox family in the Israeli city of Haifa that converted to Anglican Christianity due to disputes within the Orthodox Church, he is one of two Arab Israelis who have recieved the Israel Prize, Israel's highest award of honor
Juliano Mer-Khamis
جوليانو مير خميس
An Palestinian actor and political activist, filmmaker and director who establihed the Freedom Theater in the Palestinian city of Jenin, born to an Arab Orthodox mother and a Jewish father in Nazareth, he was raised a Greek Orthodox Christian
Elinor Joseph
آلينور جوزف
Elinor Joseph

An Arab Israeli soldier who has served with the Caracal Battalion of the Israel Defense Forces since 2010. She is the first Arab woman ever to serve in a combat role in the Israeli army. She works as a combat medic. She is from Gush Halav, a predominantly Arab Christian city in Israel

Nadia Hilou
ناديا حلو‎

An Arab-Israeli politician, who served as a member of the Knesset for the Labor Party between 2006 and 2009. She was the second female Israeli Arab MK after Hussniya Jabara, and also the first female Christian MK, shes comes from a Christian family in the city of Jaffa

Mira Awad
ميرا عوض
An Israeli Arab singer, actress, and songwriter. In 2009, she represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest along with Jewish-Israeli singer Achinoam Nini, singing There Must Be Another Way. She was the first Arab Israeli to represent Israel at Eurovision, singing the first Israeli Eurovision song with Arabic lyrics. She is actually half Bulgarian, through her mother and born to a Palestinian Christian father
Ralph Nader
رالف نادر
An American politician and political activist that wrote the book Unsafe at Any Speed, paving the way for automobile safety laws in the United States - born to Lebanese parents in the United States, Arabic is his native language and has spoken it since his childhood, he belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
A Colombian singer, songwriter and dancer - born to a Lebanese-Colombian father and a mother of Spanish and Italian origin, her name means "thankful" in Arabic

See AlsoEdit


  1. Official population counts put the number of Copts at around 16–18% of the population, while some Coptic voices claim figures as high as 23%. While some scholars defend the soundness of the official population census (cf. E.J.Chitham,
  15. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1 June 1995). The international standard Bible encyclopedia. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 982. ISBN 978-0-8028-3784-4. Retrieved 10 March 2012
  18. Brown, Ed. "Dearborn Michigan Arab Fest Cancelled Amid Reports of Anti-Islamic Protests" Published 14-1-2013. Retrieved 9-10-2013.
  19. Official population counts put the number of Copts at around 16–18% of the population, while some Coptic voices claim figures as high as 23%. While some scholars defend the soundness of the official population census (cf. E.J.Chitham, The Coptic Community in Egypt. Spatial and Social Change, Durham 1986), most scholars and international observers assume that the Christian share of Egypt's population is higher than stated by the Egyptian government. Most independent estimates fall within range between 10% and 20%,[2] for example the CIA World Factbook "Egypt". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 27 August 2010. , Khairi Abaza and Mark Nakhla (25 October 2005). "The Copts and Their Political Implications in Egypt". The Washington Institute. Retrieved 27 August 2010. , Encyclopædia Britannica (1985), or Macropædia (15th ed., Chicago). For a projected 83,000,000+ Egyptians in 2009, this assumption yields the above figures.
    In 2008, Pope Shenouda III and Bishop Morkos, bishop of Shubra, declared that the number of Copts in Egypt is more than 12 million. In the same year, father Morkos Aziz the prominent priest in Cairo declared that the number of Copts (inside Egypt) exceeds 16 million. "?". United Copts of Great Britain. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2010.  and "?". العربية.نت. Retrieved 27 August 2010.  Furthermore, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Khairi Abaza and Mark Nakhla (25 October 2005). "The Copts and Their Political Implications in Egypt". Retrieved 27 August 2010.  Encyclopædia Britannica (1985), and Macropædia (15th ed., Chicago) estimate the percentage of Copts in Egypt to be up to 20% of the Egyptian population.
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