What's it like being a Christian in Israel?

That's a question Father Gabriel Naddaf - a Greek Orthodox priest and founder of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum and Christian Empowerment Council in Israel - decided to explore.

Inspired by a recent video showing the abuse Jews faced in Muslim neighborhoods of Paris, Naddaf asked Jonathan Elkhoury - an Israeli Christian originally from Lebanon - to don a cross and walk through the streets of Haifa in northern Israel.

The result? Rather boring, actually.

As opposed to the hostile and even aggressive reactions experienced by Israeli Jewish journalist Tzvika Klein during his walk through Paris with a kippa on his head, Elkhoury says he received no negative reactions whatsoever during his walkabout. In fact, in his eight years living in Israel he says he has never encountered any hostility for being a Christian - unlike in Lebanon, where sectarian tensions are rife.

The initiative is part of Father Naddaf's campaign to draw attention to Israel's status as the only Middle Eastern state where Christians live freely and without persecution. Naddaf has been a vocal advocate for Israel, even speaking out at the UN in defense of the Jewish state.

His organization, the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, aims to encourage Christian Israelis to enlist in the IDF, and is part of a growing trend by Israeli Christians to break from the anti-Zionist discourse dominant in Arab society. 

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