Estimates are subject some Christians in the Holy Land are a source of debate and controversy.
Christians now make up about 2 to 3% of the population in the Holy Land (more than 2% in Israel and Jordan, below 2% in Palestine). These numbers represent a significant decrease in the percentage of Christians in comparison with the situation before 1948.
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan:
- There are about 250 thousand citizens who are Arab Christians, Palestinians or Jordanians.
- There are tens of thousands of migrant workers from Asia and Africa are created.
- There are tens of thousands of Christians among the refugees in Syria and Iraq.
State of Israel:
- There are about 120 to 130 thousand Christian citizens are Palestinian Arabs.
- There are about 30 to 40 thousand Christian citizens integrated in the Hebrew-speaking Jewish society (and most of them speak Russian).
- There are about 150 thousand immigrants Christians (about 105 thousand migrant workers Christian (mostly from Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and other countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Latin America and Eastern Europe) and 45 thousand asylum seekers Christian (mostly from Eritrea ).
Palestinian autonomy (and East Jerusalem):
- There are about 50 thousand Christians and almost all Palestinian Arabs (about 38 thousand of the West Bank, about 10 thousand in East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip two thousand).
Before 1948, Christians accounted for more than 10% of the population in the Holy Land. The dramatic change occurred in 1948 resulting from the immigration of Jews and exit from the country of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, including many Christians. Continuing emigration of Christian Arabs from the Holy Land and the decline of Christian Arab community sequel increase the worries about the continuing decline in the relative representation of the Christian population.
You can specify that today only about 20% of Christian Palestinians living in their historic homeland. The rest live in the Diaspora.
Christians in Israel
Israel, there is freedom of religion and Christians are allowed to practice their faith choices almost no restrictions. They are allowed to build churches, to schools and other institutions. Christian schools are among the best in the country.
Despite relative freedom, many Jewish sectors profit anti-Christian sentiment profit. Emotion is based on religious and traditional suspicion toward non-Jews in general and historical perception accusing the Christians in particular the persecution of Jews in the past. Cases of graffiti against Christianity and against Christian church buildings or spitting on the clergy dressed in traditional robes happen from time to time.
Israel, there are three main groups of Christians:
- Most Christians are citizens of Israel are Palestinian Christians. They live mainly in northern Israel (Galilee) and in mixed cities (such as Haifa, Jaffa, Ramle, Lod, etc.). As part of the Palestinian population in Israel, they suffer from discrimination used against Palestinian citizens of the state, often pushing them to the margins of society. They are between 75 and 80% Christian citizens of Israel (between 120 and 130 thousand).
- A second group is made up of Christians living incorporated into Israeli Jewish society. Mostly originated from the former part of the former Soviet Union or other Eastern European countries and often they do not highlight the Christian identity and hide it. These Christians are between 20 and 25% Christian citizens of Israel (between 30 and 40 thousand).
- In addition to Christians who are citizens of the state, there is a third group of Christians comprised of approximately -150 thousand immigrants living in the country because of various visas and even without a permit. Migrant workers (mostly from Asia) and asylum seekers (mostly from Africa) make up this group, who live impermanence and dealing daily with the challenges of poverty, exploitation, discrimination and racism.
Emigration of Christian Palestinians citizens of Israel out of the country was partly a result of the lack of equal opportunities for citizens who are not Jewish and discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel. This particularly affects the most educated and those who tend to migrate out of the country. There is also the phenomenon of internal migration in the direction of the largest Jewish city in which employment opportunities and higher standards of living.