Christians of the Middle East

Linda Dorigo & Andrea Milluzzi


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Gharduka, Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan. Gharduka is on the frontline between Kurds and Isis. The village is empty and its only church has been destroyed by the jihadists who bombed it after using it as a trench. January 2014

Image: Linda Dorigo/Andrea Milluzzi

Pataver, Iran. Olga is a Christian Assyrian who emigrated to Paris. Every summer she goes back to her homeland. Less and less people live in the Christian villages of North-Western Iran. August 2011

Image: Linda Dorigo/Andrea Milluzzi

Photographer Linda Dorigo and journalist Andrea Milluzzi spent three years travelling around the Middle East to document the increasingly rare communities of Christians living in the cradle of Christianity.

The birthplace of Christianity lies on the Iranian slopes from Mount Ararat to Mount Lebanon. Since those ancient times, the rugged valleys and gorges have served as a refuge for monastic communities and those in search of solitude. Nowadays, 12 million Christians are assumed to live in the Middle East, but only a few of them remain to live in the region because of radical Islam and persecutions; millions have relocated to North America, Europe and Australia.

Linda Dorigo and Andrea Milluzzi travelled through Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Turkey and Syria. They were driven towards the small Christian communities that choose to not be part of the diaspora.

While the Middle East was being turned upside-down by revolutions and by a fractured war inside Islam, Christians became a religious minority, disillusioned witnesses closed in their self-defence. The recent developments in the Middle East, including the horrific cruelties perpetrated predominantly against Christians by Islamic State, makes Rifugio an essential document for all those interested in world politics.

Linda Dorigo is an independent photojournalist and documentary photographer currently based in Italy and the Middle East. Andrea Milluzzi is a freelance journalist, having previously worked at the Italian newspaper Liberazione. From their bases in Beirut and Rome, they have combined forces to provide an insider’s account of what is happening in the Middle East region today.

Linda Dorigo & Andrea Milluzzi/Schilt Publishing

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  • Linda Dorigo & Andrea Milluzzi

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. A gathering of bishops from all the Iraqi cities in order to discuss the dangerous situation in the country. October 2012

Image: Linda Dorigo/Andrea Milluzzi

Saint Taddeus monastery, Iran. The yearly Armenian pilgrimage. July 2011

Image: Linda Dorigo/Andrea Milluzzi

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Book  Maria Gruzdeva Cultural History € 35.00 2016 Schilt Publishing