Minority Christian communities in the Holy Land are vulnerable to regional conflict and a growing risk of verbal and physical attacks, according to a new study from the University of Birmingham.
Christians in the region have reported “religious ill-treatment and feel threatened by abusive behavior” due to “increasing grievances among Palestinian Muslims”.
This has “increased the risk of verbal and physical attacks against minority Palestinian Christian communities.”
Some of the main concerns of the Christian minority, especially in Israel, include “an unfair visa system and lack of benefits” which “could hamper the recruitment and retention of the clergy that churches need to continue building communities. communities and life in the Holy Land ”.
The growing vulnerability of the Christian community in Israel, Jordan and Palestine is despite their “far-reaching contribution to building civil society”, with new start-ups and “excellence” in education , health and other humanitarian sectors, the researchers said. .
Their concerns were outlined in the report, ‘Overcome the exclusion of minorities and unleash the potential: Christianity in the Holy Earth‘.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham wrote the report in collaboration with the International Community of the Holy Sepulcher (ICoHS), a UK-based Christian organization that aims “to reverse the decline in the population of Christians living in the Holy Land. “.
The report recommends “a new education, briefing and information program in the Holy Land, UK, US and Australia to increase understanding and engagement with the contribution of Christian communities”.
It also indicates that the Israeli government should regularly publish departmental performance data relating to Christian communities.
Commenting on the results, Professor Francis Davis of the Edward Cadbury Center, University of Birmingham, said: “Christianity in the Holy Land is important globally and diplomatically because of its position at the heart of the region, but its economic, social and civic value to the Holy Land have been massively underestimated.
“This contribution is disproportionate to the size of Christian communities, but they are seriously threatened by war, interfaith and ethnic conflicts, constraints on international investment and fears of economic and legal constraints caused by migration.”
He added: “Their future is more vulnerable than it should be.”