By Bernie on 14 Feb 2010
Bethlehem is one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, for the time being. Soon there will be no Christians left at all. In 1948 the city of Bethlehem was 80% Christian - today it is only 20% Christian. The city is the birthplace of David and the location where he was crowned as the king of Israel. In addition, most Christians believe the city to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Muslims like to blame Israel for the declining Christian population. They point to the wall constructed by Israel for negatively impacting Bethlehem politically, socially, and economically and thus driving out Christians. Let's ignore for a moment why Israel was forced into building the wall. Let's pretend Muslims were not sneaking into Israel blowing up buses and restaurants. Let's just say Israel put up the wall for no reason.
If the wall is the direct cause for the huge Christian emigration, we should be seeing a decline in the Muslim population as well. After all, the wall casts a shadow on Muslims Arabs as it does on Christian Arabs. The wall cannot be bigoted toward one religion. So how does one explain the fact that Bethlehem, although losing Christians, is not losing Muslims?
Is there something other than Israeli actions causing Christians to flee, but not Muslims?
Perhaps we should examine what Christians say is really happening:
Religious Freedom Coalition, Christianity, Israel and the West Bank - PDF
Condition of Christians in West Bank Worsening
April, 2005 Update - William J. Murray
The situation of Christians in the Holy Land is worsening by the day. During Christmas of 2004 Muslims filled Bethlehem Square, setting up loud speakers for day long prayers so that Christians could not even get to the Church of the Nativity to pray. The Palestinian Authority Police now stand at the entrance to the church door and question each person who enters asking their citizenship and how they arrived. I have been to churches on six of the world's seven continents and even in the old Soviet Union when it was communist and I was never before questioned by a policeman at the door. This is intimidation plain and simple.
Christians in the Bethlehem - Beit Jala area are being offered up to double the value of their homes by Muslim buyers. Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations furnish the money because they want to make sure every Christian leaves. Christian families dating back to the time of Christ are being forced to move because they simply have no work. Beit Jala, which was 100% Christian in 1995 was ordered by the Palestinian Authority to add three Muslim city council members. Bethlehem, which was 80% Christian at the time of the 1948 war that divided the land, is now only 20% Christian. As the Christian population declines the repression becomes greater.
Christian Schools Forced to Accept Muslims
Some of the Christian schools in the West Bank did previously accept a few Muslims as a means of exposing them to Christ, but now every Christian school is forced to admit Muslims by the Palestinian Authority and to hire a Muslim "educator" to teach Muslim students the Koran. Christian schools cannot choose text books, but must use the same Palestinian Authority published materials that are used in the public schools. These text books require memorization of Koran passages and have a much distorted view of history.
Christian Schools in the Bethlehem area are filling up with Muslims because Christian families no longer have the means to send their children. Rather than send their children to the Palestinian Authority schools where they will be taught Islam and hatred, they sell their homes and move to Canada, the United States or South America. In some of the Christian schools up to 30% of the students are Muslims.
Any mention of the wall as being a problem for Christians? Were there any references to Israeli military? No and no. The problem In Bethlehem is the same problem as in the whole of the West Bank - the same problem as in Lebanon. A century ago Lebanon was a largely Christian country but now has a Muslim majority (60%). Would it surprise you to learn that thousands of Christians fled to Israel for safety? Yes, Israel - the country that supposedly is discriminating against Christians is actually offering them safety from Muslim thugs.
Israel is sanctuary for many other refugees persecuted by Muslims. When Iranian Muslims persecuted the Baha`is - where did they go? Israel. Read The Safest Place in the world for Baha`is
Even Muslims seek sanctuary in Israel:
JammieWearingFool, African Muslims Fleeing To Israel
Africans, mostly Muslim, are fleeing their war torn countries on the African continent and seeking asylum in Israel. In order to get there however they have to cross the Sinai desert in Egypt where many are shot and killed.
Why not just settle in Egypt and live among their Muslim brothers? Very simply it is because in the Muslim world they are not accepted. There is a very big dislike for African Muslims among the Middle Eastern Muslims. They view them as little more then slaves.
We've heard it before, Islam is the universal religion that accepts and tolerates all races. Meanwhile Egyptian Muslims shoot and kill black Muslims seeking asylum in Israel. If you are black and you are Muslim, you are an imbecile beyond comprehension.
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