Existing before the Muslim conquest of the Middle East, and integrated into the Islamic political order, which for centuries has given full rights only to Muslims, the various Eastern Christian communities have represented an important element of pluralism within Middle Eastern Arab societies. The end of the twentieth century, however, marks a crucial period for the the Christian communities, who have witnessed their base decline from 24 per cent of the general population in 1914 to a mere 7 per cent. The rising tide of Christian emigration is just one of the most obvious signs of the communities growing unrest. Beginning with an examination of the role played by Eastern Christians in the history of Arab society, this ground-breaking study presents a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the many challenges facing the Christian communities today. Focusing on juridical status, social, political and economic dynamics, and relationships with the the Muslim majority culture, this intriguing study highlights the various political and cultural strategies employed by Eastern Christians as they attempt to guarantee their role and status as equal citizens in their own Arab states.