Poetry, conflict, and context

2 min read

Eliza Griswold has traveled the world researching conflicts.

Over the summer, The New York Times Magazine published her article “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?” For her first book, The Tenth Parallel, she spent years traveling in Africa and Asia along the fault line where Christianity and Islam intersect and interact.

On Oct. 14, she will speak during a Religion in the News event at the Center for the Study of World Religions at noon. Later that day, she will discuss her latest work, “I Am the Beggar of the World,” a collection of translated landays from Afghan women for which she won a 2015 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

HDS: You recently wrote an in-depth piece in The New York Times Magazine about the persecution of Christians by ISIS and other extremist groups in the Middle East. The headline posed the question, “Is this the End of Christianity in the Middle East?” So, are we seeing the end of Christianity in the Middle East?

EG: I try to avoid such stark terms as a careful journalist. There’s never going to be the end of Christianity in the birthplace of the religion, but is it the end of a thriving, vibrant Christian community? Christians are certainly facing a series of diverse challenges, and these communities are absolutely imperiled. Unless action is taken to safeguard their survival, we are unlikely to see Christians flourishing and more likely to see their continuing diminishment in the Middle East.