Just the Facts: Christian Emigration from the Holy Land

Understanding Christian Emigration from the Holy Land: Just the Facts…

  • Christians were 80 percent of the population in and around Bethlehem when Israel was founded.
  • Christians make up just 12 percent of that population today.
  • There are between 200,000 and 300,000 Christians in Israel and Palestine.
  • About half of Christians in the Holy Land are Greek Orthodox.
  • In Latin America, Christian Palestinians make up approximately 85 percent of all Palestinian immigrants.
  • 20 to 25% of Christians in Palestine feel discrimination when searching for jobs or when seeking government services.
  • Surveys show that the desire to emigrate is much higher among Palestinian Christians than Palestinian Muslims.
  • Because of the Nakba, Christians in the Holy Land dropped from 8% to 2.3% of the population.
  • 32.6% of Christians cite lack of freedom and security as a reason they emigrate.
  • 26.4% cite the worsening economy as the reason for their emigration.
  • Christians in other Middle Eastern countries, such as Syria and Egypt, have also faced problems and persecution that are leading to emigration.​

Just the Facts comes from

Learning More 

You might want to start with the short PDF book Faith Under Occupation: The Plight of Indigenous Christians in the Holy Land from EAPPI.  

Then there are:

To learn more about the Christian community in Palestine and how it relates to its neighbors you can read two recent issues of Sabeel’s Cornerstone:Cornerstone #79 on interfaith and interreligious dialogue. Cornerstone #80 on “Living in Community.”