On Monday, the Arab World Institute (IMA) in Paris launched a landmark exhibition highlighting the 2,000-year history of Christians in the Middle East. 

The exhibition titled "Oriental Christians: 2,000 Years of History," was inaugurated by French President Emmanuel Macron and Lebanese President Michel Aoun. 

The exhibition takes visitors through the history of Christianity in the region via a detailed timeline that includes the establishment of the first churches, the Muslim conquest and Christians' contribution to the Arab renaissance. 

It also focuses on the "contemporary vitality of the Christian communities in the Arab world," according to France 24.

IMA uses maps, models, documentaries and diplomatic archives to provide visitors with a complete overview of Christians' impact on the Arab world when it comes to the cultural, political and intellectual sphere.

"IMA’s mission is to shed light on the various aspects of cultures and beliefs present in the Arab world, and I realized there had never been an exhibition of this magnitude devoted to Christians in the Middle East before," Jack Lang, president of IMA, told France 24.

The exhibition will run until Jan. 2018.  

Christianity in the Middle East

Although Christianity dates back 2,000 years in the Middle East, it only makes up around 5 percent of the population, having dropped from 20 percent in the early 20th century. 

Christian communities are present in countries including Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. 

The exhibition places heavy emphasis on the diversity of Christianity within the region with its Coptic, Greek, Assyro-Chaldean, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite, Latin, and Protestant Churches. 

It also showcases a number of heritage masterpieces including the Rabbula Gospels, an illuminated Syriac manuscript dating back to the 6th century. 

Christian communities in the region have been the target of deadly violence over the years, namely Egyptian and Iraqi Christians.