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Christians now make up 5% of the Middle Eastern population, down from 20% in the early 20th century.Proportionally, Lebanon has the highest rate of Christians in the Middle East, with a percentage ranging between 39% and 40.5% of mainly Maronite Christians, followed by Egypt where Christians (especially Coptic Christians) account for about 10%.
Christianity spread rapidly from Jerusalem along major trade routes to major settlements, finding its strongest growth among Hellenized Jews in places like Antioch and Alexandria.Smaller Christian groups include; Arameans, Georgians, Ossetians and Russians.Converts from other religions such as Islam, Yezidism, Mandeanism, Yarsan, Zoroastrianism, Bahaism, Druze, and Judaism exist in relatively small numbers amongst the Kurdish, Turks, Turcoman, Iranian, Azeri, Circassian, Israelis, Kawliya, Yezidis, Mandeans and Shabaks.In like manner, Alexandria boasted many prominent theologians, including Athenagoras, Pantaenus, Clement, Origen, Dionysius, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Arius, Athanasius, Didymus the Blind, Cyril and Dioscorus, associated with School of Alexandria.The two schools dominated the theological controversies of the first centuries of Christian theology.More Armenian communities reside in Lebanon, Jordan and to lesser degree in other Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Israel and Egypt.
The Armenian Genocide during and after World War I drastically reduced the once sizeable Armenian population.The Eastern Aramaic speaking indigenous Assyrians of Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria, who number 2–3 million, have suffered both ethnic and religious persecution for many centuries, such as the Assyrian Genocide conducted by the Ottoman Turks and their allies, leading to many fleeing and congregating in areas in the north of Iraq and northeast of Syria.The great majority of Assyrians are followers of the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Ancient Church of the East, Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Assyrian Evangelical Church.The Greeks who had once inhabited large parts of the western Middle East and Asia Minor, declined after of the Arab conquests, then the later Turkish conquests, and all but vanished from Turkey as a result of the Greek Genocide and expulsions which followed World War I.Today the biggest Middle Eastern Greek community resides in Cyprus and numbers around 793,000 (2008).Whereas Antioch traditionally focused the grammatical and historical interpretation of Scripture and developed a dyophysite christology, Alexandria was much influenced by neoplatonism, using an allegorical interpretation and developing miaphysitism.