In addition, some of the modern Arab Christians (especially Melkites) constitute Arabized Greco-Roman communities rather than ethnic Arabs.Smaller Christian groups include: Arameans, Georgians, Ossetians and Russians.Converts to Christianity 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.
They came into existence as a result of a schism within the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch over election of a Patriarch in 1724.
The Armenians number around 1 million in the Middle East, with their largest community in Iran with 200,000 members.
Christianity, which originated in the Middle East in the 1st century AD, is a significant minority religion of the region.
Christianity in the Middle East is characterized by the diversity of its beliefs and traditions, compared to other parts of the Old World.
The Armenian Genocide during and after World War I drastically reduced the once sizeable Armenian population.
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.
Christians now make up 10%-15% of the Middle Eastern population, down from 20% in the early 20th century.
Cyprus is the only Christian Majority country in the Middle East, with the Christian percentage ranging between 76% and 78% of mainly Eastern Orthodox Christianity (i.e. Proportionally, Lebanon has the 2nd 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) and others account for about 10% and 23% according to different sources.
The largest Christian group in the Middle East is the previously Coptic speaking but today mostly Arabic-speaking Egyptian Copts, who number 15–21 million people, Copts reside mainly in Egypt, but also in Sudan and Libya, with tiny communities in Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia.
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.
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.