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Saturday, March 10, 2012

'Israel is the only safe state for Christians in the Middle East'

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Here's Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren on the situation for Christians in the Middle East.
The trauma of those priests is now commonplace among Middle Eastern Christians. Their share of the region's population has plunged from 20% a century ago to less than 5% today and falling. In Egypt, 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes last year after beatings and massacres by Muslim extremist mobs. Since 2003, 70 Iraqi churches have been burned and nearly a thousand Christians killed in Baghdad alone, causing more than half of this million-member community to flee. Conversion to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death. Saudi Arabia outlaws private Christian prayer.

As 800,000 Jews were once expelled from Arab countries, so are Christians being forced from lands they've inhabited for centuries.

The only place in the Middle East where Christians aren't endangered but flourishing is Israel. Since Israel's founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%.

Christians are prominent in all aspects of Israeli life, serving in the Knesset, the Foreign Ministry and on the Supreme Court. They are exempt from military service, but thousands have volunteered and been sworn in on special New Testaments printed in Hebrew. Israeli Arab Christians are on average more affluent than Israeli Jews and better-educated, even scoring higher on their SATs.

This does not mean that Israeli Christians do not occasionally encounter intolerance. But in contrast to elsewhere in the Middle East where hatred of Christians is ignored or encouraged, Israel remains committed to its Declaration of Independence pledge to "ensure the complete equality of all its citizens irrespective of religion." It guarantees free access to all Christian holy places, which are under the exclusive aegis of Christian clergy. When Muslims tried to erect a mosque near the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Israeli government interceded to preserve the sanctity of the shrine.
The most amazing things about this are the silence of the World's Christians and the fact that most of them (outside the United States) side with the 'Palestinians' and not with Israel. Oren does not discuss these points.

Read the whole thing.

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2 Comments:

At 8:22 PM, Blogger HaDaR said...

>They are exempt from military service, but thousands have volunteered and been sworn in on special New Testaments printed in Hebrew.

This is such a bunch of baloney!
NO ONE IS EXEMPTED FROM MILITARY SERVICE ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION, BUT ONLY ON THE BASIS OF NATIONALITY, which is NOT CITIZENSHIP!

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

I hear this and I sympathize but with the Eastern Orthodox Prelate in Jerusalem vocally supporting the PLO and Hamas I have to admit that they got what they deserve.

 

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