The Decline of Eastern Christianity: From Jihad to Dhimmitude
The Decline of Eastern Christianity: From Jihad to Dhimmitude book cover

The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude[1] is a book by historian and expert on Islamic culture Bat Ye'or. In the book the author describes her interpretation of the waning of the Eastern Christendom under the Islamic empire's conquests.

Bat Yeor described her book as "In this study, I tried to analyze the numerous processes that had transformed rich, powerful Christian civilizations into Islamic lands and their long-term effects, which had reduced native Christian majorities into scattered small religious minorities, now slowly disappearing. This complex Islamization process of Christian lands and civilizations on both shores of the Mediterranean—and in Irak and Armenia—I have called: the process of "dhimmitude" and the civilization of those peoples who underwent such transformation, I have named the civilization of "dhimmitude".



  • After the Islamic conquest in the seventh century, they came under the dhimma, a treaty of submission for each people conquered by jihad.
  • The infidels who submit to Islamic rulers are given a pledge of security to protect them from the rules of jihad, so long as they accept a condition of humiliation and of total inferiority to Muslims.
  • Islam does not emancipate the dhimmis (religious minorities) nor recognize that jihad and dhimmitude are evil institutions. In fact, they say those are good institutions. They do not recognize the evil in their own history.
  • Islam presents an idealistic version of itself that is not reality.
  • Islam started in 622 and in 640, the Jews and Christians were expelled from Arabia.
  • What the Islamists call Islamic territory today was all Christian territory from Portugal to Armenia before 632 A.D., when the conquest began.
  • They say Jesus was a Muslim and that the true Bible teaches Islam. It's a replacement theology they have toward Jews and Christians.


Richard John Neuhaus describes the book as "it tells the story straight, thus countering the Islamophile histories that have dominated Western thought for so long".[2]

Sidney H. Griffith writes that: They [the documents used as sources] are presented out of context with no analysis or explanation... The trouble with The Decline of Eastern Christianity is that in spite of the gathering of an enormous amount of historical material, and although she has raised an issue that well deserves study, Bat Ye'or has written a polemical tract, not responsible historical analysis.[3]

In a review of The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude the American historian Robert Brenton Betts commented that the book dealt with Judaism at least as much as with Christianity, that the title was misleading and the central premise flawed. He said: "The general tone of the book is strident and anti-Muslim. This is coupled with selective scholarship designed to pick out the worst examples of anti-Christian behavior by Muslim governments, usually in time of war and threats to their own destruction (as in the case of the deplorable Armenian genocide of 1915). Add to this the attempt to demonize the so-called Islamic threat to Western civilization and the end-product is generally unedifying and frequently irritating."[4]


  1. ^ Bat Ye'or (1996). The decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: from Jihad to Dhimmitude: seventh-twentieth century. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. ISBN 0-8386-3678-0. 
  2. ^ Richard John Neuhaus First Things (October 1997). The Approaching Century of Religion " it tells the story straight, thus countering the Islamophile histories that have dominated Western thought for so long. About half the book is given to a telling of the story, and the second half to a fascinating collection of documentary evidence from the beginning of Islam to the present ..Bat Ye’or persuasively demonstrates, is a radical distortion of what happened. Islam’s spectacular spread was brought about by brutal military conquest, rapine, spoliation, and slavery, joined to a regime of “dhimmitude” that was based on deep contempt for the subject infidels, including the Peoples of the Book. "
  3. ^ Griffith, Sidney H., The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, Seventh-Twentieth Century, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 30, No. 4. (Nov., 1998), pp. 619-621.
  4. ^ Robert Brenton Betts, "The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude".Middle East Policy 5 (3) (September 1997), pp. 200-2003

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