The number of Christians in the Holy Land is decreasing at an alarming rate
At the beginning of the 20th century, Christians in Palestine made up 10% of the total population. Currently, they are less than 2% - around 130,000 in Israel and around 50,000 in territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
The dramatic decline in the number of Christians in the city that witnessed Christ’s passion, death and resurrection occurred in 1948-1967, when Jordan ruled the eastern part of the city. The number of Christians in East Jerusalem has decreased from 30,000 to 11,000 during these years.
Between 1997 and 2002, the number of Christians living in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories in the West Bank decreased from 35,000 (in 1997) to 25,000 (in 2002) – a decrease of 29%.
In the Gaza Strip, these numbers were respectively: 2.5 thousand (in 1997) and 2 thousand (in 2002) – a decrease by 20%. In Israel, the decline is equally pronounced.
The vast majority of Christians living in Israel are Arabs (83%). Between 1949 and 1998, the percentage of Christian Arabs living in this country fell from 21% (in 1949) to 10% (in 1998).