Protestants, especially the Fundamentalist Evangelical type, have this distinct notion of making like no Christians, particularly Catholic or Orthodox, exist in the Middle East. I say this because Catholics and Orthodox Christians have been in the Middle Eastern countries since the time of the first century, as the original Christians are Catholics. And certain Evangelical Prots who have a wide audience nationally, Joel Rosenberg in particular, let on in their blog postings the only "true" Christians in the Middle East are the Christians who follow their brand of Christianity, namely Evangelical Fundamentalism. All the others are, as Joel puts it, "Nominal Christian Background Believers (NCBBs)" which would be the Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Here's a quote from his recent blog posting on the Egyptian crisis:
"My wife, Lynn, our four sons, Lynn's mom, and I had the joy of living in Egypt -- in a suburb of Cairo, actually -- for nearly three months in late 2005 and early 2006 when I was researching and writing a book. During that time, we had the opportunity to see the enormous surge of Christianity underway in the Middle East and North Africa firsthand. We met with Egyptian Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) and Nominal Christian Background Believers (NCBBs)." http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/what-does-mubaraks-downfall-mean-for-christians-in-egypt/
He goes on "We also made some dear friends and visited a variety of churches to better understand the challenges facing believers in that historic country. One of these was the famous “garbage church” in the caves above Cairo, located right next to the biggest “city” of trash and waste products I have ever seen in my life." --- Here's one for you Joel. The "garbage" church is actually the Orthodox church of St. Simeon. But, according to Joel's misleadings, one reading his post would never assume that because he completely skirts the issue.
And on: "But then you come through it to the other side, to a paved parking lot and a lovely little Christian chapel, nestled against huge cliffs. Carved into the cliffs are the most amazing scenes of Jesus walking on water, Jesus on the cross, Jesus ascending to heaven, and so forth, each with a Bible verse inscribed below it in Arabic and English, all done by a Polish artist. Inside the six caves are six chapels, the largest of which holds twenty thousand people."
-- Yes Joel, it's called iconography and the art form has been around long before your particular brand of Christianity was created. It may be foreign to you, but to authentic Christians it's all part of the faith. He says a "Christian" chapel, not an Orthodox chapel. Yes, while it's true Orthodox are Christian, my so called "beef" is Joel makes an attempt to not make a distinction between true Christianity in Orthodoxy and his Fundamentalist brand called Evangelicalism.
Joel Rosenberg is a consultant to Fox News and other new agencies on the Middle East. It's amazing to me when they want an "expert", they consult a Fundamentalist Evangelical who's faith has no context or history in the Middle East.