Take action!
How to Get Involved
 
 

Tough road to Jerusalem for Palestinian Christians

ICC Note:

While Israel works to secure its borders, most Palestinians from the West Bank, Christian as well as Muslim, must get Israel's permission to visit Jerusalem, the National reports.

By Hugh Naylor

4/2/2012 Palestinian territories (National) – If he could, Ibrahim Khoury would bring his family to this city every Sunday.

But in his way are Israel's walls and bureaucracy that restrict him and other Christian Palestinians from entering Jerusalem.

Unlike the 280,000 Palestinians who hold Jerusalem residency, he - like most Palestinians from the West Bank, Christian as well as Muslim - must get Israel's permission to visit the city that is his cultural and spiritual home.

But yesterday, the Khoury family was part of a group of Roman Catholics from Ramallah allowed in to celebrate Palm Sunday.

Although a joyful experience a week before Easter, it was also bittersweet for Mr Khoury: he lamented the obstacles to visiting his most important holy sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Stations of the Cross.

"Israel tells the radio and the newspapers that there is freedom of religion here, but in reality, it's not like this at all," said Mr Khoury, 68, an architect who lives in Ramallah. It was his first visit to Jerusalem in more than a year.

Like Christian communities in Egypt and Iraq, those in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories have dwindled as people moved away.

There are fewer than 60,000 Palestinian Christians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Members of the 13 Christian denominations here now collectively form less than 2 per cent of the Palestinian population. Their numbers have continued to fall since Israel's creation in 1948. That was when as many as 60,000 Christian Palestinians were expelled or fled because of the fighting, part of a wave of 750,000 Palestinians who became refugees.

[Full Story]

Forward to a friend
  • Kids

    Care for orphans and hurting children

    read more
  • Families

    Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastors

    read more
  • Pastors

    Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastors

    read more
  • Women

    Save women from abduction and sexual exploitation

    read more
  • Communities

    Help rebuild communities devastated by persecution

    read more

Other Projects

other projects

ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.