Defining and Identifying Middle Eastern Christian Commninties in Europe

Impact: Public Policy Impact, Public Discourse Impact, Social Impact

Description of impact

Government and civil society impact arising from research examining the experiences of Middle Eastern Christian migrant communities in the UK, Denmark and Sweden

Who is affected

Department of Communities and Local Government, UK
SST (Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund), Sweden (government agency providing support for faith-based communities)
Churches and church-based organisations such as Intercultural Christian Centre, NGO, Denmark, The Church of Sweden, Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, UK, Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe, Belgium
NGOs working on migration e.g. Fife Migrants Forum, UK.


The research provided fieldwork-based information on the status of Coptic Orthodox, Assyrian/Syriac and Iraqi Christians in the UK, Sweden and Denmark looking specifically at the internal dynamics of the communities, engagement with wider society and transnational relations especially with Middle Eastern countries of origin. Focusing on narratives of identity, experiences of belonging and misrecognition and notions of homeland, the research demonstrated the intertwining of religious, ethnic and national identities and how these affect migrant experiences. The size, geographical spread and diversity of communities were also identified as important factors. These findings proved of interest to the communities being researched and provided them an opportunity to voice their perspectives. However, the research presented through follow-up interviews, consultations and above all the 2015 multilingual publication 'Middle Eastern Christian Communities: Histories, Communities, Cultures' aimed at a non-academic audience which provided a comparative overview of the communities and key issues based on the project findings proved useful to government and civil society actors whose remit included Middle Eastern Christian communities but found themselves with limited knowledge of them. The situation from 2013 onwards with the rise of Islamic State and the ensuing refugee crisis also meant that such actors were eager for more information on the diverse groups of the Middle East and their situation in European countries.
Impact statusIn preparation
Impact dateMay 2014
Category of impactPublic Policy Impact, Public Discourse Impact, Social Impact
Impact levelInvolvement - mid or active stage


  • Middle East Christians, migration, diaspora, identity