News by email Donate


World News

Israel responsible for 'Christian exodus' from Palestine, study finds

by Eno Adeogun

Research carried out by Dar al-Kalima University in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Jala, concluded that only a small percentage of Christians had left Palestine because of concerns over Muslim religious conservatism.

Explaining the rationale behind the results of the roughly 500 Christians and 500 Muslims interviewed, the study said: "The pressure of Israeli occupation, ongoing constraints, discriminatory policies, arbitrary arrests, confiscation of lands added to the general sense of hopelessness among Palestinian Christians."

It added that these conditions have put Palestinian Christians in "a despairing situation where they can no longer perceive a future for their offspring or for themselves".

The researchers highlighted that in the land of its birth, Christianity is losing its followers under the current political and economic conditions.

Palestinians flee to safety as the Israeli military attacks the Shejaiya neighborhood.

Bernard Sabella, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and one of the authors of the study, told Aljazeera "Palestinian identity needs to be highlighted and emphasised" to counter the reduction in the number of Palestinian Christians.

The study also found that 50 per cent of interviewed Christians and 54 per cent of Muslims were hopeful that their situation would eventually improve and attributed their optimism to the belief that God is on their side.

A majority of Christians and Muslims said the political conflict with Israel made them feel unsafe.

Wikimedia Commons

Iskandar El Hinn, a Christian Palestinian whose family fled Jaffa to Ramallah when Israel was founded in 1948, told Al Jazeera that he had never thought of leaving Palestine.

He said: "As a Palestinian, I am living where I belong, everywhere I go here is Palestine to me and Jerusalem is its capital.

"We have been living here for thousands of years; no one can take us away from here."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email