Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/20/2014 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Holy land faithful form diverse mixture of backgrounds, cultures

Christians make up just two percent of the population in Israel. However, since the last papal visit to the Holy Land five years ago, the number of Christians in Israel has noticeably. The makeup of the Israeli Christian population has continued to shift - a mixture of nationalities and backgrounds.

There is still a divide among Christians here. As a rule, Arab Christians don't mix much with migrant or Russian Christians.

There is still a divide among Christians here. As a rule, Arab Christians don't mix much with migrant or Russian Christians.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/20/2014 (3 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Israel, Christians, Arabs, migrant workers


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The vast majority of Israeli Christians have always been Arab. Arab Christians comprise three-quarters of the 160,000 Christians living in Israel. Tens of thousands of Christians have since come to Israel from Asia and Africa, as both legal workers and undocumented migrants.

As a result, Christian kids in Israel usually go to Catholic Sunday school on Saturday, since most Israelis observe the Jewish Sabbath, which falls on Saturday. Sunday is the start of the work and school week.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Most Catholics here are Filipinos who came to Israel as temporary workers. But some, like Marisol Kayanan, have been here two decades.

There is still a divide among Christians here. As a rule, Arab Christians don't mix much with migrant or Russian Christians.

"The city of Tel Aviv, built in 1909 as the Jewish secular city par excellence, is today the center of the Israeli economy," one local religious leader says. "It's the hub of the life of the migrants, because that's where the work is. And if you go to the neighborhood around the bus station in south Tel Aviv, you have the most Christian neighborhood anywhere in the Holy Land."

Christian churches have since become more integrated into Israeli life, in Israeli cities, working with Israeli social services and running religious education programs.

Although migrants add to the number of Christians in Israel, they are a tiny minority. Pollster Tamar Hermann of the Israel Democracy Institute doubts churches like Our Lady of Valor will impact Israeli society.

"It wasn't opened because of local people expressing some needs," she says. "It is for people who, in the foreseeable future ... would not get citizenship. They do not take part in the political discourse."

Temporary workers from Asia and undocumented migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, have experienced intolerance here.

"People are much more hostile toward the Africans" partly because some African migrants are Muslim, she says. "Because of the pressures put on them, they act together in order to protest government policies."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Middle East

'Lend Me Your Ears' Hostage reporter appears in Islamic State sham news report Watch

Image of reporter and hostage, John Cantile appeared in a video made by the Islamic State.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released another video, perhaps attempting to persuade Americans and British forces from attacking them. This time, instead of beheading a journalist they have created what appears to be their own version of a crude news segment. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Half of Iraqi army incapable of fighting against ISIL, top U.S. general declares Watch

Image of According to General Martin Dempsey, the solution must begin with formation of an Iraqi government that is able to convince the country's Kurdish and Sunni populations that they will be equal partners with the Shiites in Iraq's future.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, the U.S. military's top officer gave his assessment of Iraq's military capability in deterring the Islamic State. Dempsey says that almost half of Iraq's army is incapable of working against ISIL. ... continue reading


Stone structure in northern Israel was to worship moon god, scholar says Watch

Image of The vast structure, which is 150 meters long with a volume of 14,000 cubic meters, is thought to have taken more than five months to build.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the shape of the crescent moon in northern Israel, a 5,000-year-old stone structure is now being declared as an ancient monument. Predating much of the construction of Stonehenge in England and Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the structure according to one ... continue reading


A plea from Christian churches around the world: Stop the genocide in Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State have been systematically waging a war of terror on Christians and other religious minorities in regions under their control in Iraq and Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian leaders throughout the Middle East have called on Muslim governments and religious authorities to condemn the Islamic State for its ongoing persecution of minority religious communities in Iraq and Syria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The leaders ... continue reading


ISIS on the run! Kurdish forces on the move towards Mosul! Watch

Image of Kurdish forces with a captured Islamic State fighter.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have retaken a bridge and several villages around Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region, and pushed fighters from the Islamic State back towards Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Islamic State ... continue reading


Refusing responsibility, Hamas admits to using schools, hospitals as 'human shields' in rocket attacks Watch

Image of The question that remains: Did Hamas deliberately and systematically fire rockets at Israel from homes, hospitals and schools in the hope that Israel would be deterred from retaliating, as Israel claims?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two weeks after the ceasefire, a Hamas official admits that his organization DID use schools and hospitals in Gaza Strip as "human shields" to launch rocket attacks on Israel. Said official, Ghazi Hamad claims it was "mistake." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Stemming tide of ISIS recruits: Nations work to prevent citizens from joining jihadists Watch

Image of While part of Turkey formerly supported the Islamic State, Turkey has since changed its tune after Turks were targeted for violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Countries across the globe are disturbed by the high recruitment rates by the Islamic State, who are gathering fighters from all over the world. Working to turn back this deadly tide, nations are formulating policies that will hopefully turn back the tide of ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - Jihadi John beheads David Haines (FULL VIDEO) Watch

Image of Haines in the moment before his apparent execution.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has beheaded David Haines, and threatened to kill another Briton if the British government continues to ally with the United States against the Islamic State. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Time is running out for Alan Henning, who is next in ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - New video surfaces of Islamic State mass execution of 220 Syrian soldiers Watch

Image of At least 220 men were death marched into the desert and slaughtered by cheering Islamic State terrorists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new video of Islamic State atrocities has surfaced. In this graphic video, Islamic State fighters execute 220 Syrian soldiers en masse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new video which shows the Islamic State executing at least 220 captured Syrian soldiers has ... continue reading


U.S. step up pressure on Islamic State's illicit oil sales Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department says that it plans to step up pressure on the extremist group's illicit oil sales. An integral part of U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to "systematically degrade, dismantle and defeat" the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:12-20
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 17:1, 6-7, 8, 15
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:1-3
1 Now it happened that after this he made his way ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 19th, 2014 Image

St. Januarius
September 19: St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter