Israel's Christian Population

Bethlehem, now an Arab "Palestinian" city, once had a majority Christian population; and in the time of Jesus, a Jewish population.

Gary Fitleberg

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Bethlehem, now an Arab "Palestinian" city, once had a majority Christian population; and in the time of Jesus, a Jewish population.

A total of 144,000 Christians live in Israel, of whom, 117,000 are Arab and 27,000 are new immigrants, according to a report released recently by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) ahead of Christmas. In 2003, Christians constituted 2.1 percent of Israel's population.

The new immigrant Christians, who came to Israel under the Law of Return that grants citizenship to non-Jewish first-degree relatives of Jews, arrived mainly during the major wave of immigration in the 1990s from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.

Approximately 11 percent of all 12th-graders in the Arab education system are Christian, and they lead the population in attainment of matriculation certificates. In 2003, 64 percent of Christian students were eligible for matriculation certificates, as opposed to 49 percent of Muslim students and 57 percent among Jews.

Approximately 98 percent of Israel's Christians live in urban settlements, with 20 percent in Nazareth, 12 percent in Haifa and 10 percent in Jerusalem. Sixty percent of all Christians live in northern Israel.

In terms of their statistical profile, Christians resemble Jews more than Muslims. The number of births per woman stands at 2.3 for Christians, while among Jews the number is 2.7, and among Muslims, 4.5. The birth rate among Christians has been in continuous decline over the years, along with their proportion in the general population. Their proportion in the Arab population has declined precipitously from 20 percent in 1949 to 15 percent in 1972, to 9 percent at present. In 2003, the Christian population grew by 1.4 percent - the same rate as the Jewish population - while the Muslim population grew by 3.3 percent and the Druze, by 2.1 percent.

In 2003, 34 percent of Christians were less than 19 years of age (the same percentage as in the Jewish population). However, they were older than the Muslim population, in which 53 percent were in the 19-and-under age group. Some eight percent of Christians were 65 years or older, as opposed to 12 percent of Jews in this age group, and less than 3 percent among Muslims.

In 2003, approximately four percent of those emigrating from Israel were Christians, the same percentage as in 2002.

In 2002, the median age when Christian men married for the first time was 28.6 years of age, almost two years later than Jewish men and three years later than Muslim men. The median age for Christian women to marry for the first time was 23.4, younger by a year than their Jewish counterparts and three years older than Muslim women.

Those who think the Arab "Palestinian" Muslim population should replace the Christians and Jews - in what is quite obviously a Jihad against the non-Muslim population and Western civilization, to replace it with corrupt dictatorships, human rights violators, ruthless, repressive regimes, state supporters of terrorism and tyrannies - should think twice. What happened when the Arab Muslim "Palestinian" terrorists held the Church of the Nativity hostage, in an effort to force a battle, was a desecration of a Christian holy place and was a shameful, terrible tragedy. The "War of Islam" should never ever be confused with the alleged war on Islam.

In honest and moral circles, we call eliminating Jews and Christians in favor of Muslims "ethnic cleansing" or "genocide", or sometimes, "serial killing".

Anyone having any delusions or illusions?

"First the Saturday people. Then the Sunday people."