Christians Living in Jerusalem drops to only 2%

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JIIS News - قراءة المزيد لهذا المؤلف

On Christmas Eve, Number of Christians Living in Jerusalem drops to only 2% of total population

Statistics released by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies indicate that only 15,400 Christians live today in the Holy City, divided into 13 different communities and other institutions. The JIIS calls on the Israeli government to adopt a more proactive approach towards the churches and Christian communities in the city.
Jerusalem, Israel, Dec. 21, 2010 – On Christmas Eve, Christians account for only 2 percent of the total population of Jerusalem, compared to 20% before the 1948 War, according to new statistics released today by The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

The figures indicate that only 15,400 people currently identify themselves as Christians, compared to 31,000 at the end of the British Mandate in 1948.
The Christian community in the Holy City is comprised of 12,800 Arab Christians and another 2,600 clergyman, monks and immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Despite their relatively low number, the Christian communities and organizations continue to play a prominent role in the Holy City. They strongly influence the character of Jerusalem, operating dozens of religious and social institutes representing a wide range of churches, denominations and groups. The Holy City continues to be the only place in the world where 13 different communities live side by side with representative Christian churches from the four corners of the world.
The JIIS is currently drafting recommendations calling on the Israeli government to take a more active role in improving relationships with the different churches and communities and in easing the lives of the Christian residents of Jerusalem.
“We believe that in a time of growing tension between Israel and the international community, the government should put special emphasis on improving relationships with the Christian world,” Dr. Amnon Ramon, JIIS’s expert on the churches and the Christian communities, said. “Israel has a strong interest in strengthening Christian presence in the Holy Land and tightening bonds between the Christian world and Jerusalem. Such a move could improve Jerusalem’s position as world center, will carry economic benefits and may help to ease tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Ramon noted that a positive step was taken two months ago when the Jerusalem Municipality allowed the completion of a new Arab-Christian neighborhood in
Bethphage on the eastern slopes of Mount Olive.
The JIIS, he said, recommends that the Israeli government will form one central body that will draft a unified policy towards relationships with the Christian world and will coordinate all aspects associated with it.
“The basic needs of the Christian churches and communities are not being addressed today because of red tape and uncertainty concerning who is responsible,” said Ramon. “Often, bureaucratic and legal obstacles prevent any positive activity because officials fear to set a precedent that would influence in either way the Jewish or Muslim sides.”
Last Thursday, the JIIS held a special symposium dealing with the last
Synod for the Catholic Church in the Middle East that was held in Rome in October. Some 150 participants attended, including the heads of the Catholic churches of Jerusalem, government officials, researchers and others.
“This could represent the beginning of a new Jewish-Christian dialogue,” Ramon said.

Fr. Ibrahim - Nairouz
دراسة حديثة قامت بها (The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies) عن وضع القدس عموما في ظل سياسة الاحتلال الاقصائية لكل من وما هو عربي بالقدس بغض النظر عن الدين، لان الاحتلال لا يفهم معادلة الاديان انما ما يفهمة فقط كيفية التخلص من العرب اصحاب المدينة المقدسة، وهذا يذكرنا ببكاء السيد المسيح على المدينة عندما نظر اليها من فوق جبل الزيتون وقد تنبأ عن هذه الايام العصيبة التي تمر بها المدينة هذه الايام.

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