Thursday, March 8, 2012

Settlers war on Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem

Recent Israeli settler attacks on Christian holy sites and churches have highlighted the specific struggle faced by Christian Palestinians in Jerusalem.


"Price tag" and "Greeks out" scrawled on a car outside of Jerusalem's Monastery of the Cross

Christian holy sites and places of worship in Jerusalem have been violently attacked by Israeli settlers over the past several months. In the aftermath of the shameful slogans and “price tags” drawn on the city’s Baptist Church in West Jerusalem, on a Christian cemetery on Mount Zion and on the Greek Orthodox monastery in the Valley of the Cross, Elena Viola examines Christian Jerusalemites’ life in the ‘holy’ city.

Christians have inhabited Jerusalem since the time of Christ and his followers and have always lived amongst Muslims and Jews. Although the number of Christians in Jerusalem has never been high, primarily due to the conversions occurring during the advent of Islam and the big wave of Christian emigration in the aftermath of the 1947 and 1967 wars, this already restricted number of Christians continues to shrink.

From 32,000 community members prior to the 1948 Middle East War and subsequent establishment of the state of Israel, the Christian population in Jerusalem has dramatically dropped to some 8,000 individuals in 2011.

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