Ten things to know about Christians in Israel

Christians in the Holy Land are a very small minority group of 175,000 comprising 2 percent of the population.

December 25, 2018 02:45
1 minute read.
Old City

Coptic Christians in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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1.  Christians in the Holy Land are a very small minority group of 175,000 comprising 2 percent of the population.

2.  Christmas is a regular work day in Israel. Banks, government offices, stores are all open. So no problem doing last minute Christmas shopping, it’s just the wrapping paper that is scarce.

3.  Most Holy Land Christians, 77%, are Arab. In 2017, 597 Falash Mura Christians immigrated from Ethiopia to Israel, juicing up the population numbers of 2.2 percent.

4.  Some 71% of Christians live in northern Israel. The latest number of Christian Arab community, (22,100) is in Nazareth. The second largest is in Haifa, with some 15,00 people and the third, with 12,800 people, is in Jerusalem.

5.  The media age for a Christian groom is 29.2 and 25.6 for a bride.

6.  Christians comprised 7% of all 12th-grade pupils in Arab education. Some 78.5% of Christian 12th-grade pupils were entitled to matriculation certificates,

7.  Christian women are more educated than their peers, with 75.2% studying toward a second degree, compared to 62.7% of all females studying toward a second degree.

8.  Israeli Christian communities belong primarily to four denominations; Chalcedonian-Orthodox, Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox, Roman Catholic (Latin and Uniate) and Protestant.

9.   Most significant Christian site is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, placed at the site of Jesus’ cruxifixction in the fourth century. Some 90% of all Christian tourists visit this site.

10. The largest Church in the Middle East, the Church of the Annunciation is in Nazareth.

Information for the article was compiled by Tovah Lazaroff from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and the Foreign Ministry website.

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