Stand With Us, UK Disappointed with Welby’s Remarks

Jan 14, 2022 by

from English Churchman:

We were concerned to read that the Archbishop of Canterbury and a Palestinian Anglican priest published an opinion piece in The Sunday Times, December 19, expressing concern for “Christians being driven from the Holy Land.” The day before, another piece by the Vatican’s Custos of the Holy Land was published in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph warning that Holy Land Christians are “threatened with extinction.” These two pieces follow the publication a week earlier of a “Statement on the Current Threat to the Christian Presence in the Holy Land” issued by the Patriarchs and heads of local Churches in Jerusalem. Why is this being raised now in these dire terms during the Christmas season with a focus on Israel?

It certainly is appropriate for Christians to be concerned for the well-being of their co-religionists in the Holy Land and the rest of the Middle East a concern shared by most Jews. Bottom line: Christians are not persecuted in Israel. In fact, Israel is the only state in the Middle East in which the Christian population is growing and flourishing.

Israeli Christians by right enjoy full protection under the law including freedom of religion. While Christian populations in neighbouring Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority have been dramatically diminishing, the Israeli Christian population has grown from about 38,000 in 1950 to 180,000 today, 78% of whom are Israeli Arabs. The Israeli Arab Christian population grows an annual rate of 1.6%. They are more affluent and better-educated than Israeli Jews. They are prominent in all aspects of Israeli life.

In stark contrast, a 2019 British government report specifically naming Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, describes “pervasive persecution of Christians, sometimes amounting to genocide, is ongoing in parts of the Middle East, and has prompted an exodus in the past two decades. Millions of Christians in the region have been uprooted from their homes, and many have been killed, kidnapped, imprisoned and discriminated against.” (Guardian).

Read here


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