On Tuesday, a number of Christian leaders in Israel published a statement complaining about the situation of their flocks, asserting that “radical local groups with extremist ideologies” have made their lives “unbearable”—a message amplified by the archbishop of Canterbury. The truth is very different, the Times of Israel reports:
Israel’s Christian community grew by 1.4 percent in 2020 and numbers some 182,000 people, with 84 percent saying they were satisfied with life in the country, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said in a report released ahead of Christmas.
According to the CBS, Christians make up about 1.9 of Israel’s population. Christians make up 7 percent of Israel’s Arab population, and 76.7 percent of Christians in Israel are Arab. . . . The statistics revealed that Arab Christian women had some of the highest education rates in the country. It showed that 53.1 percent of Arab Christians and 35.4 percent of non-Arab Christians went on to get a bachelor’s degree after finishing high school, compared to 34 percent of the total number of high-school graduates in the Arab school system and 47.2 percent of all high-school graduates in Hebrew education.
The report also found lower numbers of Christians signing up for unemployment benefits compared to the Jewish and Muslim populations. The findings present a contrast to recent statements by Christian leaders.
There is an easy explanation for the discrepancy between these leaders’ public comments and the survey results: given their precarious position in Muslim-majority Arab society, Middle Eastern Christian must make an extra effort to prove their anti-Zionist bona fides. It is of course in Palestinian-controlled parts of Israel, Gaza especially, where they have faired the worst.