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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Vatican blames the Jooos for declining numbers of Christians

The Vatican has issued a document that blames the Israeli-'Palestinian' conflict and the 'occupation of lands' for driving Christians out of the Middle East.
The document is a guide for discussions for an Oct. 10-24 meeting of Mideast bishops convened by Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the plight of the Christian minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim region. The exodus of Christians from the region and religious discrimination faced by those who remain are main issues on the table.


The meeting document made clear that bishops in the Middle East believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be the root cause of several conflicts in the region. But it also singled out the growth of political Islam in countries like Egypt, and said the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been exploited by radical terrorism in recent years.


It criticized the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, saying it had made life difficult both for daily life and religious life since access to holy places are restricted.

Citing both the Israeli-Palestinian and Iraqi conflicts, it said: "The solution to conflicts rests in the hands of the stronger country in its occupying and inflicting wars on another country."

"Violence is in the hands of the strong and weak alike, the latter resorting to whatever violence is within reach in order to be free," it said.

Asked at a news conference if the document was referring specifically to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and construction in East Jerusalem, Eterovic said the Vatican wasn't making policy decisions or recommendations in the document.

But he noted that the paper was drafted by the bishops of the region, who know the situation well and that regardless the Vatican adheres to UN Security Council resolutions on the matter.
Arutz Sheva notes:
During a visit of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Israel, a very senior figure in one of the main Churches in Israel told her privately that the members of his community are well aware that freedom of religion will only be provided by Israel, and that therefore she should not promote the division of Jerusalem. He further told her of the struggles he and his flock were forced to wage against the PA wherever it received control.
The problem is that you can't get 'very senior figures' like that to come out and say it in the open.

The Vatican document totally ignores the role of the 'Palestinian Authority' in the declining Christian population in Judea and Samaria. The decline has accelerated drastically since the 'Palestinian Authority' was established in 1994. Nor does the Vatican document note the fact that there is one country in the Middle East where the Christian population is increasing: Israel.

In 2005, Human Rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner did a study on the persecution of Christians in the 'Palestinian Authority.' Here's what he has to say about Christian emigration from the 'Palestinian Authority.'

Both the demographic tendencies of Christians as compared to Muslims, as well as the rate of emigration, have drastically reduced the Christian population in the Middle East. While in 1914 they represented 26.4 percent of the population in the whole of the Near East (what today is known as Israel, the PA, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria), today they are estimated at no more than 9.2 percent. (Fargues 1998)

There are conflicting statistics regarding the extent to which Palestinian Christians are leaving and have left their ancestral residences in what is now PA-administered territory. One reason for differing figures is that some provide overly optimistic estimates of the remaining Christian population in order to retain whatever residual political and economic clout the various communities enjoy. All informed opinion, however, accepts that the Christian population has declined precipitously, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the total population of Palestinians.

Palestinian Christian emigration peaked during the first intifada and has once again increased rapidly since the onset of the second. Between October 2000 and November 2001, 2,766 Palestinian Christians left the West Bank, of which 1,640 left the Bethlehem area and another 880 left Ramallah. (Gutman 2002)

Because there have been no opinion polls taken of departing Palestinian Christians, it is possible to claim that the recent wave of massive Christian emigration is a result of the Israeli occupation and the resulting political and economic instability. As one Catholic leader commented, “The principal reason for the dramatic rise in Christian emigration has been the continuing military occupation and the denial of the sovereignty of a Palestinian state wherein Christian Arabs could feel at home economically, politically, culturally and spiritually.” (Shavit and Bana 2001) The stated “dramatic rise” in Christian emigration, however, could not have resulted from a “continuing” condition. An explanation of the dramatic rise in Christian emigration from PA-controlled territories should therefore include a phenomenon that has only recently emerged in order to account for the rise in emigration patterns that does not reflect the normative political timeline.

According to the Christian Information Center, in 1994, the year the PA took control of Bethlehem and its surroundings, this was the most populous Christian town in the Holy Land. Since then, however, Bethlehem’s Christian population has dwindled to just one-third of the city’s overall population. For centuries the majority in the Bethlehem district, Christians currently make up only 30,000 of the district’s 130,000 residents.3

French journalist Pierre Rehov filmed a documentary addressing the exodus of the Palestinian Christian community from areas under PA administration entitled, Holy Land: Christians in Peril. According to the website for the documentary, “This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, the related decline of the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Muslim neighbors.” Former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts attributes the departure of Palestinian Christians to being “driven [out] by the steady persecution of the PA and the realization that they will face worse treatment under a possible future Palestinian state.” (Watts 1997)

In recent years, religious persecution has been an increasingly important contributory factor in Christian emigration from PA areas. In the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Sahour, an 80 percent Christian town near Bethlehem, a survey found that 51.2 percent of respondents are considering emigration due to “the difficult political conditions.” (Latin Patriarchate 2001) According to Bernard Sabella, 41 percent of Palestinian Christians in the territories perceive emigration as the most important threat to Christians living under PA control. Next amongst the concerns of the Christians is economic deterioration (24 percent) and Islamization (17 percent). (Sabella 2001)

Due to their exceptional vulnerability to economic and political instability, many Christians are forfeiting their place in the Holy Land. According to Shafik, a Protestant clergyman in the territories, one of many Christian Palestinians whose name and other identifying details are concealed at their insistence, the Palestinian Christians live in fear of their future under the PA. Additionally, the growing hostility felt by Palestinian Christians has led many of them to conclude that Muslims are trying to “kick [the] Christians out.”

The explanations that exclusively concentrate on the hardships experienced by the Palestinian population as a whole cannot account for the much higher rate of emigration among the Christian minority than among the Muslim majority. There must be a factor that has been omitted from these explanations of the Christian exodus from the PA-controlled territories. While traditional Islamic doctrines explain the status of Christian residents of Muslim societies as second-class citizens, this factor alone does not explain the accentuated hostility expressed toward them in recent years, which must be read as a sign of religious radicalization – more specifically, the rise of Islamic extremism in the PA-controlled territories.
The picture at the beginning of this section is a screen capture from the back cover of Weiner's study. You cannot see the entire picture. The man in the picture is an Armenian priest. The picture was taken in April 2002, during the 'Palestinian' terrorist seizure of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. The sign he is holding in his hands says "please help."

The Vatican is disseminating a lie. The 'Mideast bishops' who wrote the report are lying - either maliciously or out of fear for their own lives.

The scurrilous notion that any 'occupation' going on in Israel has anything to do with the persecution of Christians in Egypt and Iraq (to take two prominent examples in this region) doesn't even deserve a response. But Weiner's monogram deserves to be read and updated (yes, I contacted JCPA today to ask if it would be).


At 3:34 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a URL with a powerpoint presentation showing the engineering level effects of rockets landing on Israel's civilian areas, the history of rocket launching from areas Israel has turned over to the neighbors without a Jordon/Egypt effective "leave Israel alone" treaty, and a title search/line of sight map of the "settlements" and security barrier to link them to prevention of more rocket launching and suicide bombings... These criticisms keep happening worldwide from people really influential to large populations and the Israeli PR effort doesn't make the case with specific info.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

There is not a conspiracy to get rid of Christians from Middle East. The main reason for the high emigration rate of Christians in Middle East is that Christians are in general much better educated than Muslims & therefore have more economic opportunities than their less educated Muslim compatriots. Thus in times of economic stress and/or political strife it is natural for young middle eastern Christians to take up job opportunities abroad. Once abroad, marriage & life opportunities prevent return. Thus over time the Christian community is diminished of its young people. The mediocre education offered by Muslim educational institutions coupled with over emphasis on learning the Quran by rote, is a major factor in the rise of fundamentalist & political Islam. Islamic clerics in general discourage Christian & secular education because of the prevalence of enlightenment values of thinking for oneself, innovation & relativism. Unfortunately this tendency is also evident in both Christian and Jewish fundamentalists. Graduates of such institutions have a natural antipathy towards modernists & liberalists who tend to be Christians.


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