Christians at Church of Nativity 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad )
The Christian community in Israel continues to grow, the Central Bureau of
Statistics reported on Tuesday ahead of Christmas, with its annual statistical
update showing an increase of 3,000 persons in the population over the 2012
Some 161,000 Christians, or 2 percent of the population, live in
Israel at the end of 2013, compared to 158,000 this time last year.
under 80% of Christians in Israel are Arab. The majority of the remaining 20%
are from the former Soviet Union and were granted citizenship under the Law of
The cities with the largest Christian populations are Nazareth
with 22,400 Christian residents, Haifa with 14,600, Jerusalem with 11,900 and
Shfaram with 9,600.
And the majority of Christian Arabs live in northern
Israel, with some 71% living in the Northern District, 13% in the Haifa
District, and 9.5% in the Jerusalem District.
The bureau noted that 2,610
children were born to Christian mothers in 2012 and that the average number of
children per Christian woman is 2.2, compared to an average of 3.5 children for
a Muslim woman, 3.0 for Jewish women and 2.3 for Druse women.
Christian pupils out-performed their non-Christian peers in obtaining their
high-school graduation certificates.
In 2012, 69% of Christian pupils
received their graduation certificate, compared to 61 percent of schoolchildren
in the Hebrew education systems, 50% of Muslim pupils and 64% of Druse pupils.