Christians in Israel enjoy a higher level of religious freedom than in most other countries in the Middle East, although, being a Jewish state, Jewish citizens receive preferential treatment. Messianic Jews and those who convert from Judaism to Christianity may be branded traitors by ultra-orthodox Jewish organisations, while converts from a Muslim background can face pressure from their families. Some churches and monasteries have been subject to vandalism, and clergy abused, although reported attacks have decreased in recent years.

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Jerusalem Patriarch says settlers are pushing Christians out of Old City

View of the city of Jerusalem where radical settlers are said to try to weaken the Christians' presence. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The most senior Christian leader in the Holy Land has accused hardline Jewish settlers of trying to intimidate clergy in Jerusalem’s Old City and acquire church-owned property in an attempt to weaken the Christians’ presence there. In an interview with the Guardian, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, […]

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Israel: Christianity’s ‘holiest site’ re-opens after tax dispute

View of the city of Jerusalem where radical settlers are said to try to weaken the Christians' presence. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The doors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem were re-opened this morning (28 February) after plans to tax church property in Jerusalem were suspended. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced yesterday (27 February) that a team would be formed to “formulate a solution” with the churches’ representatives, […]

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Jerusalem church leaders object to municipal tax levy

Land in Jerusalem is at centre of tensions between municipality and churches. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The Jerusalem municipality has announced that churches in the city need to start paying municipal taxes, but church leaders have objected, saying they already “invest billions”. In a statement released yesterday (14 February), the Patriarchs and Church Heads of Jerusalem said charging them taxes “is contrary to the historic position […]

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Do Christians really ‘thrive’ in Israel?

Jews praying at the Western Wall, Jerusalem. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Protests in the southern Israeli town of Dimona have flared up again, two weeks after a meeting centre for Messianic Jews re-opened its doors. The centre was closed in May last year following violent protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews and attacks on the homes of church leaders. Earlier this week a […]

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Trump’s Jerusalem move rejected by Arab Christian leaders, who fear backlash

Trump’s Jerusalem move rejected by Arab Christian leaders, who fear backlash

Church leaders in the Middle East have voiced grave concerns at US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. There are an estimated 200,000 Christians in the Holy Land, of whom around 50,000 live […]

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