The Vanishing

War correspondent Janine di Giovanni has covered the near-extinction of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East.

“They’ve survived plagues, they’ve survived pillages, they’ve survived raids, they’ve survived purges – and they most recently survived ISIS.”  

The Christian communities of the Middle East – in places like Iraq and Syria, Egypt and Palestine – are ancient, and over recent decades have been facing various kinds of existential threat. Janine di Giovanni’s book The Vanishing: The Twilight of Christianity in the Middle East is a work of “pre-archaeology”, recording the stories and courage of these communities even as they disappear.  

Di Giovanni is a war correspondent and human rights investigator who has covered 18 wars and 3 genocides across her career, bearing witness to the terrible things that happen in our world. In this episode, she talks about visiting churches in war zones, why people stay, and whether faith – including her own belief in God – is strong enough to survive war. She also shares a bit about her current work with The Reckoning Project, a war crimes unit working within Ukraine.  

“It’s been an honour to work for 35 years in all these war zones with these extraordinary people. I feel very privileged and lucky every day of my life that I do this work, because … I have a purposeful life.” 



The Vanishing: The Twilight of Christianity in the Middle East, by Janine di Giovanni 

The Reckoning Project 

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