Last updated on: 5/16/2008 1:43:00 PM PST
Who Are the Palestinian/Israeli Christians?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Daphne Tsimhoni, PhD, Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute, Hebrew University, in a 2001 Middle East Forum essay titled "Israel and the Territories – Disappearance," wrote:
"Although some people think that the term 'Palestinian' implies a person is a Muslim, Palestinian Christians also exist and their ancestry in the Holy Land goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. As in the East Mediterranean at large, Christians in Palestine were gradually Arabized during the early centuries following the Muslim occupation of the area in the seventh century. Despite their small proportion of the Arab population, Christians have played a significant role in the Palestinian Arab national movement, society, and culture."
2001 - Daphne Tsimhoni, PhD
Bernard Sabella, Associate Professor of Sociology at Bethlehem University, in a 1996 Al-Bushra essay titled "Palestinian Christians: Challenges and Hopes," wrote:
"Palestinian Christians have deep roots in the land. The great majority, estimated at 400,000 worldwide or roughly 6.5 percent of all Palestinians, are of indigenous stock, whose mother tongue is Arabic and whose history takes them back, or at least some of them, to the early church. At present, the 50,000 Christians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip make up only 2.2 percent of the total population estimated in the mid-nineties at 2,238,0001. Palestinian Arab Christians in Israel were estimated, for the same year, at 125,000 or 14 percent of all Arabs in Israel. Christians in Palestine and Israel make up 175,000 or 2.3 percent of the entire Arab and Jewish population of the Holy Land...
Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip belong to fifteen different denominations, the largest of which are the Greek Orthodox (51 percent), and the Roman Catholics (32 per cent.) Some smaller denominations, such as the Copts who are originally from Egypt, do not number more than a score of families. Yet each denomination or community maintains a rich tradition of rites and rituals, beside educational and other institutions, that speaks of its long presence and attachment to the land called holy."
1996 - Bernard Sabella, PhD