Al Maghtas — a new magazine for Christian
Arabs in Jordan and Palestine
By Daoud Kuttab
AMMAN — For the first time in decades, Christian Arabs in Jordan and Palestine have their own magazine.
The first edition of the 40-page glossy colour magazine Al Maghtas (the baptismal) was produced in Amman recently featuring interviews, articles, and even some controversy.
According to Reverend John Noor, the secretary of the bishops of Jordan, there are between 10-15 million Christian Arabs living in the Middle East.
Most of the region’s Christian Arabs live in Egypt (7-12 million) and Sudan, 600,000 in Iraq, 165,000 in Jordan, 900,000 in Syria, 1.3 million in Lebanon, 50,000 in Palestine and 130,000 in Israel.
Noor, whose two-page article deals with emigration estimates that four million more live in the diaspora.
Unlike most available Christian magazines, Al Maghtas is neither denominational nor theological. It deals with socioeconomic conditions concentrating on Christian Arabs on both banks of the Jordan.
Christian Arabs refuse to be called a minority, they consider themselves part of the Arab world and partners with their Muslim brethren in the good and bad that face the Arab nation.
Philip Madanat, the editor of the magazine, says that the strength of Al Maghtas is in its exclusivity for the Christian community and its avoidance of theology.
Among the feature stories in the magazine was an interview with one of the leading Jordanian businessmen, and philanthropist Elia Nuqol, the CEO of the Fine tissue company.
In another article Widad Kawar, the internationally known collector of Palestinian and Jordanian dresses and folklore is featured with a detailed profile.
Controversy is not absent in the newest magazine of Christian Arabs. An investigation into the internal struggles between three Christian churches over the right to the keys to the Nativity Church is presented from all points of view.
Source [The Jordan Times]
I’m really glad that there is a magazine out there discussing issues facing
Arab Christians. I really agree with the point mentioned in this article: “Christian
Arabs refuse to be called a minority, they consider themselves part of the Arab
world and partners with their Muslim brethren in the good and bad that face
the Arab nation.”
Many misunderstand the position of Arab Christians and believe that they
blindly support any action done by the west. Even worse, sometimes they are
labeled as “crusaders” or “traitors”. Arab Christians are no less Arabs because
of their faith. This is a point that needs to be stressed and highlighted more
Dear Mr. Daoud Kuttab
I am surprised from the misleading information you reported about the numbers of Christians in Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, Please revise your article.
Al Maghtas — a new magazine for Christian Arabs in Jordan and Palestine
A new magazine for Christian Arabs in Jordan and Palestine
1. Even though the governments of Sudan have killed over the last thirty years, more than two millions of citizens in the south, there is still over 14 millions of Dunga tribes in the south, leaded by John Garang, 10 Millions of them (about 70%) are Christians.
2. The population of Christians of Iraq has dropped down from 18% in 1947 to only 4% in 2004. Since Iraq population is 26 millions, that means there is about one million Christians in Iraq now
3. Lebanon still have more than one million of Christians.
4. I don’t believe that there is 900,000 Christians in Jordan. The real number could be half of what you have reported.
Congratulation, for having this new magazine, Wish you all the best. God bless.
I’m really glad such a magazine has come about to highlight the important role Christians have had in the Arab world. More importantly though, is that the magazine (from what I can tell) highlights the fact that they are truly arabs and not ‘infidels’ or ‘crusaders’.
I’m glad it concentrates on a socioeconomic agenda, which would show the human side of a specific group.
It is really sad when some people in the Middle East say they feel closer to a Bangladeshi Muslim than an Arab Christian. We need a revival of Arabism in the region.
I hope this publication does well.