Another result that the missionaries highly appreciated, but which was not fully part of the initial aims, was the fact that their modernising and civilising activities met with relative success, especially towards the end of the century. As part of a broader movement of growing western influence, missionary education was appreciated by many, while the publications of the mission presses, either directly or indirectly (by stimulating responses by Islamic or secular presses) contributed to the spread of knowledge and the development of new literatures in Arabic and other languages. In this way, the missionaries felt part of the general westernising and modernising movement that can be distinguished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and which, among other things, led to growing equality between Christians and Muslims and the first steps of a democratisation process in the Ottoman and Persian empires.
However, there was a downside to this modernising process. A connection between the missionaries' involvement with the Christian communities on the one hand, and the deterioration of intercommunal relationships on the other, cannot be denied. In a process that had started in the seventeenth century under western influence, the Christian communities rose in wealth and influence vis-à-vis the Muslims, a trend which was reinforced by nineteenth-century missionary activities, from which the Christian communities benefited more than the Muslims. This process resulted in growing nationalistic consciousness among the Christians, most prominently among the Armenian communities in the Ottoman empire, which was one of the factors that led to the Armenian massacres in the late nineteenth century and during the First World War.14 The migration of Christians from the Ottoman and Persian domains (to British-ruled Egypt as well as to the Americas) that started in the late nineteenth century can be seen partly as a result of the better education and wider world-view of the Christians, but also as a sign of the limited possibilities of using these advantages within the context of the Islamic Middle East. Rather than strengthening Christian presence in the Middle East, as had been their aim, missionaries contributed to the fragmentation, dispersion and even decimation through massacre of the Christian communities.
Another unforeseen result of the missionaries' interest in the Middle East was that the 'Holy Land' became an important focus of popular piety among Protestants, as it had already among the Orthodox (from the Middle East and elsewhere) and Roman Catholics. Thomson's immensely popular The Land and the Book, combined with the numerous reports in domestic mission
14 Cf.Quataert, The Ottoman Empire, pp. 183-6.
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