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The Holy Land

Population

13M+

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION STATUS

minimal
Freedom

CHRISTIAN POPULATION

3%

Status of the church

Religious affiliation in Israel is divided between Judaism (75%), Islam (16.9%), Christian (2%), Druze (1.7%), and others (3.8%). In the West Bank, Muslims (mostly Sunni) comprise 75% of the population, Jews 17%, and Christians and others 8%. In the Gaza Strip, 99.3% of the population is Muslim (mainly Sunni) and Christians 0.7% (CIA World Factbook).

Social unrest dominates the tensions between Palestinians and Jews and regional tensions, such as rocket attacks by the Lebanon-based militant Hezbollah party. A key issue is the continued expansion of Israeli settlements on land claimed by Palestinians and settlers’ freedom to come and go without the military restrictions Palestinians experience. The lack of access to land for Palestinians, including the restrictions caused by Israel’s security barrier, adds to their economic difficulties. Unemployment rates contrast sharply with those for Israelis. In the Gaza Strip, some 38% of people live below the poverty line (CIA World Factbook).

Besides a few local channels, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip have access to multiple channels via satellite TV. Israel’s press is the only one in the region rated ‘free’ by Freedom House. SAT-7 programming is watched by Arabic speakers in the Holy Land.

Prayer points

  • Give thanks for the faithful witness of Christians, despite the social, religious, and political pressures they often face.
  • Pray for progress towards peaceful, just self-rule in Gaza and the West Bank, and just policies on behalf of the Israeli government towards Palestinian and Jew.
  • Pray that Palestinian Christians in Gaza and the West Bank will be able to model just and peaceful responses to their struggles.
  • Pray for those Arab Christians and Messianic Jews in Israel who seek to work together as people of reconciliation, and pray that they will promote understanding and united witness.

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The Holy Land

PRAY FOR THE TALIBAN »
When I was a boy, I remember coming home from school a few times full of righteous indignation...
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