Palestinian Christian

From Academic Kids

Template:Message box Palestinian Christians make up 6% of the Palestinian population, according to Bernard Sabella. The region called Palestine is considered as the Holy Land by Christians, and major Christian holy places like Bethlehem and Nazareth are placed in Palestine.

Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, approximately 10% of Palestine's population was Christian. This is reflected in the large number of prominent Palestinians that are Christian, including Hanan Ashrawi, Edward Said, George Habash, and Raymonda Tawil, mother of Yassir Arafat's wife Suha. However, the Christians were also often found in the more affluent segments of Palestinian society which generally fled the country in conjunction with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War; in West Jerusalem, over 50% of Christians lost their homes to the advancing Israeli army, according to the historian Sami Haddad[1] ( Thus while Christian voices are often heard from the Palestinian diaspora, the Christian presence in Palestine is dwindling. Christians emigrate mainly to Latin America and Canada. Some explain the difference between Christians' and Muslims' rate of emigration not by personal preference but by the idea that Christian emigrants are usually more successful in being accepted in historically Christian Western countries than Muslim ones; others suggest that the increasing influence of Islamism in Palestinian politics and society is perceived as threatening to Palestinian Christians. A third reason given is the alleged mismanagement and condescending attitude towards Arab faithful by the Greek-speaking and largely Greek-born leadership of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church.

The majority of Palestinian Christians belong to the Greek-rite Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, one of the 16 churches of Eastern Orthodoxy. There are also Maronites, Melkites, Jacobites, Roman Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Copts and Protestants among them.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabah is the leader of the Palestinian Roman Catholics. The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem is Riah Abu Assal. The Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem and Jordan is Dr. Munib A. Younan.

There has been a substantial amount of anti-Christian incidents carried out in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority. Many claim that this represents a pattern of deliberate mistreatment by the PA; others hold that these are isolated incidents that reflect the beliefs of the individuals involved, but not the society in general. Two American courts, one in Illinois and the other in North Carolina, accepted the threat of "religious persecution" as grounds for granting asylum to Christians fleeing PA territory.

According to some Christian sources, Palestinian Islamists in the West bank are using violence and threats of terror to scare Christians out of Palestinian controlled area. This is discussed more fully in the article on Persecution of Christians.

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