It’s Christmas. Are there still Christians in the Holy Land?
Today is 25th December 2019. It is Christmas. In Israel, this special Christian holiday has become politicised over the years. President Abbas is always seen attending a service in Bethlehem. The PR team at the City Hall in Jerusalem ensure that all the press knows how many free Xmas trees have been handed out.
To summarise one wag on Facebook today, Jesus could not have been a Palestinian, because the term was only coined 200 years after he died.
Israeli spokespersons have pointed out for a few years now that And please note that the largest section of those numbers are affiliated with the churches of East Europe.
The British-born journalist, Matthew Kalman, has cited numbers from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
There are 177,000 Christians living in Israel at Christmas 2019, 2% of the population. Their number grew by 1.5% in 2018, compared to 2% the previous year. Among the 855 Israeli Christian couples that married in 2017, the average age of the groom was 30.1 years old, while the average age of the bride was 26.0. The average number of children aged under 17 in Christian families is 1.87, compared to 2.37 for Jewish families and 2.77 for Muslim families.
As for me, I am spending the season in Australia. I have been wished Happy Hanukah by Christians, and I have wished so many others Happy Christmas. So, as they say here down-under, I wish all my readers “happy holidays”.