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In the Persian Gulf states, Bahrain has 1,000 Christian citizens Although the vast majority of Middle Eastern populations descend from Pre-Arab and Non-Arab peoples extant long before the 7th century AD Arab Islamic conquest, a 2015 study estimates there are also 483,500 Christian believers from a previously Muslim background in the Middle East, most of them being adherents of various Protestant churches.
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.
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.
In Iraq, the numbers of Assyrians has declined to between 300,000 and 500,000 (from 0.8 to 1.4 million before 2003 US invasion).
Cypriot Greeks constitute the only Christian majority state in the Middle East, although Lebanon was founded with a Christian majority in the first half of the 20th century.
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.
Most Arab Christian Catholics are originally non-Arab, with Melkites and Rum Christians descending from Arabized Greek-speaking Byzantine populations.
They are members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, a Eastern Catholic Church. They came into existence as a result of a schism within the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch due to the election of a Patriarch in 1724.
Middle Eastern Christians are relatively wealthy, well educated, and politically moderate, 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.
The Greek-speaking Mediterranean region was a powerhouse for the Early Church, producing many revered Church Fathers as well as those who became labelled as heresiarchs, such as Nestorius.