ISIS wins when Christians leave the Middle East

Faced with an Islamic State strategy that would reshape the demographics of the Middle East by eliminating pluralism, defeating ISIS militarily is not enough. The ideological program of de-Christianization, and the systematic elimination of other religious minorities must be stopped as well.

It goes without saying that Christians have as much right to live in these countries as anyone else. Their presence there predates the religion claimed by their persecutors by 600 years.

And if pluralism in the region ends, tolerance, equal rights, and equal citizenship will likely become even more elusive. Tolerance and equality require the presence of people different from the majority population, and if Christians – and other minorities – are forced from the region, we may well ask who will these countries be tolerant of – or pluralistic with – then?

It is incumbent on Middle Eastern countries to treat their Christian communities – and those of other minority faiths – as full and equal citizens.