it still bethlehem a christian city in the palestinian territories or west bank?
I heard.. now bethlehem used to be a christian city but now it's becoming an islamic city because arab islamics are bothering to christians and they have to abandon the city for that reason.. also for economic reasons ect..
- MandanLv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Muslims are chasing them.
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK -- The exodus of Christian Arabs from Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled areas has gained momentum amidst increasing Muslim anti-Christian incitement, the Associated Press reported.
According to a story carried by www.israelnationalnews.com, the dwindling Christian Arab population in Bethlehem parallels a similar phenomenon in other Arab countries.
"Most of the Christians here are either in the process of leaving, planning to leave or thinking of leaving,” Sami Awad, executive director of the Holy Land Trust, told AP.
“Insecurity is deep and getting worse.” The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land said Christians could become “extinct” in the area within 60 years.
A Christian restaurant owner, Ibrahim Shomali, is selling what he can before he leaves with his wife this month for Flint, Michigan. “We Christians now feel like we are on the cross,” he said.
Bethlehem Christians flee tensions
Matthew Price of BBC News reporting from Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, said, “The little town of Bethlehem is perhaps more associated with Christianity than any other place in the world.
“But now there are fears that soon it could be home to hardly any Christians at all.
“To get into Bethlehem from Jerusalem you have to go through a checkpoint. Actually nowadays it looks more like a border crossing.
“Israeli security personnel sitting behind blast-proof-glass ask for your passport. Soldiers stand, rifles cradled in their arms.
“The barrier goes up, and you drive in through a gap in the 30-foot high concrete wall that Israel says it has built to keep out suicide bombers.
The wall now separates Bethlehem and Jerusalem - two towns that have been linked for centuries.”
Price continued, “A short drive down the road, in her living room, Reem Odeh brings out the drinks. Tiny cups, black Arabic-style coffee frothing at the brim.
“She sits down on the plush purple settee. Then she and her husband explain why they are about to become the latest Christians to leave Bethlehem.
“‘Everything here is difficult,’ says Fouad Odeh. ‘Like work - I stay every day two hours at the checkpoint before I get into Jerusalem. Every day two hours.’
Price added, “Publicly Christians here insist there is no friction with the Muslim majority.
“Earlier this year though the Islamist Hamas movement came to power.
“And in private some say they now dress more conservatively. There have also been fights between Christian and Muslim families.”
He said that Father Majdi Syriani says the problem is not local, but global.
“The whole world is polarizing around western Christianity and Islam,” he says. “This is a true threat, not for me but the whole world.”
“Bethlehem is the focal point. It's not because my Muslim people are threatening me. It's because the whole world is polarising. And it scares me.”
Bethlehem's Christians are not just scared, said Price, but they also feel weak and squeezed. And many are deciding that the best way to protect themselves is to leave.
“Christianity started here and should continue to remain here,” says George Ghattas, at the Latin Patriarchate.
“You would worry if the origin of that religion is basically monuments and shrines and stones, but you don't have faith believers.”
A personal note: The last time I was in Bethlehem with my wife Norma, we were held up by five gunman reputed to be from Islamic Jihad. They said they were going to kill us for being Israeli settlers. Our Arab taxi driver literally saved our lives by explaining that were from the United States, and the gunmen after some discussion finally agreed to spare our lives.
A few minutes later, we arrived at a Christian site and were then stoned by Palestinian youth.
My wife said afterwards, “The birthplace of Jesus sure is a dangerous place to visit.”
It appears that many local Christians believe that it is also a dangerous place to live!
What a sad reflection it is on the times we live in.
- Ivri_AnokhiLv 61 decade ago
Islam regards Christianity the same way as it regards Judaism. Their adherents must become Muslims or else be subjugated.
Here is a quote from a Bethlehem Christian:
"My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants."
- Walid, a Palestinian Arab defector, talking about the recent immigration of Arabs to Palestine. quoted from "Answering Islam"
- Anonymous5 years ago
No. Christians have fared worse in former Mandate Palestine than Muslims; most have long since been driven out by the zionists. Anyone can easily research Christian-Muslim relations in the WB until 1967 when it was a part of Jordan and they were entirely amicable. There have since then been many attempts to drive out Christian Arabs,destroy their villages and hinder them economically. Consult the book BLOOD BROTHERS as only one example of ethno-religious cleansing targeting Christians since zionists assumed authority. They are currently attacking Jerusalem Christians frequently as part of a larger plan to pressure the Armenian Orthodox Church to sell it's property in Jerusalem to the so-called Israeli government.
- 1 decade ago
Why is it that only after the creation of the zionist state Muslims wanted to turn Bethlehem into :Islamic city". They had the chance when they ruled it for hundreds of years!
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- Warren SLv 71 decade ago
Bethlehem in the Muslim Palestinian territory of the West Bank was about 75% Christian back in 1996. Today Christians account for only 20% which is a huge drop. By contrast, Nazareth in Jewish Israel has had a steady increase in its Christian population. These are demographic facts.Source(s): I teach Geography
- curious1Lv 61 decade ago
yes you are right it was a christian city, under israeli law it was a peaceful place and tourists from all over the christian world came in there thousands for pilgrimages.
now it is too dangerous for any christian to visit there and the christians that do live there are afraid and are being persecuted by the muslims, so they are moving.
the world never hears from the many christian arabs that live inside of israels borders. they are productive loyal israeli citizens,who have representation in parliament and are actually per population the wealthiest people inside israel.
- Michael AngeloLv 41 decade ago
Bethlehem was Christian for over thousand years of Islamic rule until Zionists arrived. Under Zionist rule the Christian population of Bethlehem and Palestine in general dropped.
Christians blame their decrease in population on Israeli ethnic cleansing policy and have good friendship relation with Muslims:
In a 2006 poll of Christians in Bethlehem by the Palestinian Centre for Research and Cultural Dialogue, 90% reported having Muslim friends, 73.3% agreed that the Palestinian Authority treats Christian heritage in the city with respect, and 78% attributed the ongoing exodus of Christians from Bethlehem to the Israeli travel restrictions on the area.
Check this out:
- 1 decade ago
they didnt leave because the muslims they left because the jews was puting a truckload of restrictions on the people there
- Annt Hu DeShalitLv 71 decade ago
Many Christians have left because of Muslim terror.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
izzy don't like followers of deluded errant jew