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IsraelMap reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.
Jack (Yakov) Teitel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew in Israel, was given two life sentences in prison on April 9 for bombing the home of a Messianic Jewish family and nearly killing 15-year-old Ami Ortiz in 2008, Morning Star News reports. “We really feel justice has been done, true justice,” Ortiz told Morning Star News. “He realized we were peaceful and we were going home, and he is not.”
It is becoming increasingly clear, even to secular government leaders, that Christianity has become the world’s most persecuted faith. This article explains how Christianity has even replaced Judaism, one of the most heavily persecuted religious groups of all time, as the most dangerous faith to be a part of.
Christians are among those suffering in the Holy Land as conflict heightens in Gaza and Israel. Christians in Israel and the Palestinian territories are often forgotten or neglected by the West, Mary Jane Fox writes for MySanAntonio.com. “For 2,000 years, Christian families have lived and worshiped in the land where Jesus lived, died and was resurrected. These Christians are not converts, immigrants or foreigners… they are the descendants of the first followers of Jesus,” she says. However, lack of opportunity, impoverished conditions, and at times increased persecution in the region, the Christian population has gone from 18% of the population to less than 1.5% of the population in the past 60 years.
Nigerian Christians are facing almost daily attacks from radical Muslims. Israel's offer to help with solving Nigeria's security problem is a welcome development.
Ultra-right Jew who planted bomb ruled guilty but not responsible.
At a time when Christian communities throughout the Middle East are being oppressed and massacred, Bob Simon on “60 Minutes” instead chooses to focus attention on the relatively minimal persecution occurring in the Holy Lands.
“In Iraq and Egypt, scores of churches have been attacked, hundreds murdered. In Syria, revolution seriously threatens Christian communities. The one place where Christians are not suffering from violence is the Holy Land: but Palestinian Christians have been leaving in large numbers for years,” CBS reports.
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.
“Christians who have remained under Muslim rule are often exposed to state-sponsored discrimination and worse. In recent years, their plight has reached dramatic proportions,” the Toronto Star reports.
Raymond Ibrahim reports for Gatestone Institute that, “Half of Iraq's indigenous Christians are gone, due to the unleashed forces of jihad [holy war]. Many Christians fled to nearby Syria; yet, as the Assad regime comes under attack from al-Qaeda and others… Christians are experiencing a level of persecution unprecedented in the nation's modern history.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.
The Palestinian Christians’ response to an article written by Michael Oren, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, concerning the protection of Christians within Israel. Article titled: “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians"
While the future of the church in the West Bank town of Bethlehem is in jeopardy, Christians are not endangered but flourishing is Israel, Michael Oren writes in The Wall Street Journal.
“Israel's President Shimon Peres has promised the Roman Catholic Church that the country will step up efforts to combat the vandalism of Christian holy sites by suspected Jewish extremists,” AP reports.
“I grew up studying Islam, but at age 18 I met some Christians who opened my eyes to the Christian faith. I soon converted.”
Gabriel Cadis, head of the Orthodox Church Association in Jaffa, was stabbed outside the St. George Church in Jaffa, BosNewsLife reports.
Amidst an increasingly volatile atmosphere for Christians throughout the Middle East, which countries, if any, will provide a safe haven for Christians and what should be the response of the international community, including the Vatican? Joseph Bottum attempts to answer these questions for Hudson New York.
Flyers post addresses, phone numbers of harassed minority
“By now, the threat facing Christianity in its birthplace is depressingly clear. Christians represented 30 percent of British Mandate Palestine in 1948, while today in Israel and the Palestinian Territories they’re 1.25 percent,” reports the National Catholic Reporter.
Israel has banned the local Islamic extremist group Ansar Allah after several suspects have been arrested for trying to commit global jihad.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews harass, threaten pair even though 16-year-old has not converted
Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, a Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, said the Christian community is in danger of dying out in Nazareth as immigration increases, Voice of America reports.
“The heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem have expressed grave concern over renewed moves by the Israeli authorities to tax church buildings and properties,” The Armenian Mirror-Spectator reports.
"Christians find their joy is secure in the hope of the promise of eternal life which our Lord has won for all who believe," they affirmed. "However, when we in Jerusalem, the city of redemption, see the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in our region our joy becomes more solemn.”
“Christian leaders in Israel have joined in a protest against the Israeli government’s refusal to grant a residency permit to an Anglican bishop, and new taxes imposed on church institutions,” Catholic Culture reports.
Bethlehem, at one time a majority Christian town, is now less than a third Christian. Nazareth and Jerusalem have also seen their Christian communities shrink substantially. The plight of Palestinian Christians throughout the West Bank, Gaza and areas within Israel are among the most underreported stories of Christian persecution in the Middle East.
Jerusalem Post notes the violations of religious freedom committed in Israel according to the U.S. State Department’s annual religious freedom report.
Unidentified arsonist guts bottom floors of Jerusalem ministry center.
Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastorsread more
Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastorsread more
Save women from abduction and sexual exploitationread more
Help rebuild communities devastated by persecutionread more
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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.