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Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

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Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby yialousa1971 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:57 am

Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

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Often overlooked in this descent into war in the Holy Land is a community whose presence may not survive the next 25-30 years in Israel and Palestine: the dwindling Palestinian Christian community. Many Palestinian scholars believe that Palestinian Christians could disappear in the Holy Land within a generation if the present war and emigration patterns among Christians continue. It is ironic that as Palestinian Christianity celebrates its anniversary of 2,012 years in Palestine and Israel, the community is on the verge of extinction. Perhaps more troublesome is the fact that little is being done by the West or the international Christian churches. Most striking is the fact that the Middle East policies of the nation with the largest and most powerful Christian majority is underwriting the destruction of Palestinian Christianity through its uncritical support of Israel’s war machine.
When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400,000 Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. Two years ago the number was down to 80,000. Now it’s down to 60,000. Up until 1948, Palestinian Christians made up 18-2o percent of the total population of Palestine. The British census of 1922 placed the Christian Palestinian population in Jerusalem at just over 51 percent. The UN partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel in 29 November 1947 had a devastating effect on the Palestinian population with between 725-775,000 refugees being expelled from their ancestral lands. It is estimated that over 50 percent of Jerusalem’s Christians were expelled from their West Jerusalem homes. Today, Jerusalem's Palestinian Christians makes up only 2% of the city's total population. Presently, in the State of Israel the Arab- Palestinian Christian population is only 2.1% , while only 1.6 per percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip are Christians.

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The ethnic cleansing of Palestine started when Israel was established in the year 1948 to make room for the a flood of millions of Jewish immigrants from all over the world. Israel, with the support of the United States and the European countries, continued this policy towards the Palestinians. The dimensions of the crime are still taking place for the last 63 years.

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Outside the Orthodox Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.


In another decade or so, given present trends, there will be few if any Christians living in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. In 1948, the religious makeup of the city was 85% Christian, mostly of the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic denominations, and 13% Sunni Muslim. By 2006, the proportion of Christian residents had decreased dramatically, to about 12%. In 1995, Israeli troops withdrew from Bethlehem and it came under the administration Palestinian National Authority. Since that time, Israel has blockaded the town. For Palestinians, Bethlehem, like all Palestine, is a prison. It looks like a jailed-town. The Christian people are forbidden by Israel to leave their town, or make pilgrimage to the Holy Places in Jerusalem. While the Christians of Bethlehem overwhelmingly (78%) blame the emigration of Christians from the town on Israel’s blockade, Americans blame it on Islamic politics and are reluctant to blame Israel.

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Virgin Mary Ierosolimitissa please help Christians in Gaza

Throughout the Holy Land, an exodus of Christians is taking place. The official Israeli line is that the Christians inside the Palestinian territories are leaving because the Islamists are harassing them. But Christians deny this. Instead, they blame the Israeli "security fence" enclosing Bethlehem and its nearby hilltop Christian villages which blocks the free movement of Palestinians, Christians and Muslims alike, inside the West Bank. Still, it is nowhere near as restrictive as the closure around Gaza. Gaza is completely blockaded by the Israelis and the population is besieged. Nobody can leave Gaza, neither Christian nor Muslim.

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The Israeli occupation authorities prevent Christians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank from going to Bethlehem at Christmas just as they prevent Muslims from going to Jerusalem during Ramadan. All Palestinians, not just Christians live in a huge prison together, and are not just locked in but under complete siege, where virtually nothing and no one gets in or out through the borders.

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Life without hope breeds despair

There are currently only 3,500 Christians living in the Gaza Strip. Most of the Christians in the Gaza Strip are Greek Orthodox. Gaza's oldest church is the Greek Orthodox of Saint Porphyrus and it dates back to the 16th century. Archimandrite Artemios, the top clergyman in Gaza of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, chooses to live and minister in Gaza. Though Greek by birth he is Palestinian by heart, he insists. Asked what Christians in Gaza pray for, given the circumstances Palestinians must live under, he replied gently, "We pray for peace, wisdom and improvement of the situations in Gaza". He added that he anxiously anticipates the day when all Christians and Muslims will have free access to all parts of Palestine: "Then we'll go together to Bethlehem and celebrate Christmas and Eid Al Adha.

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Putting up the Christmas tree outside the yard of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Length of the Christmas tree about 3.50 meters long. Perhaps the tree lights will bring hope. The Christmas Holiday is the symbol of freedom, peace and justice together with joy and happiness. Hope and peace to come to this country and freedom for the 1.6 million prisoners in the besieged Gaza Strip specifically.

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Christmas trees not allowed in Nazareth

Nazareth is known as Jesu's childhood home and today it has the largest community of Christians in Israel. About a third of the 70,000 Nazarenes are Christians, the rest are Muslim. In Nazareth, Christians went from 60 percent of the population in 1946 to 31 percent in 2005. On the hill rising above the dense town and its imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, lies Upper Nazareth. This community was founded by Israel in 1957, a Jewish town situated so as to overlook Nazareth's Arab community. However, realities in the Galilee transcend nationalist aspirations. Families from Nazareth proper have been moving over the years to the airier hilltop suburb. Today, about 15 percent of Upper Nazareth residents are Arabs, mostly Christians.
These Arabs have witnessed the enormous Hanukkiyahs (menorahs) placed by the city over the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Now, with the coming of Christmas, they approached the mayor, Shimon Gapso, and requested that a Christmas tree be placed as well. Gafso, refused staunchly. “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish,” said Gapso, “As long as I hold office, no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.”

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Christians in Ramallah preparing for Christmas eve

Ramallah city has a population of 25.000 and is situated in the West Bank. It's the administrative center for the Palestinian Authority. Ramallah was historically a Christian town, but today Muslims form the majority of the population, with a Christian minority.The Church of Transfiguration is the only Greek Orthodox Church in Ramallah today. The Transfiguration Church of Ramallah was build about 150 years ago. It currently serves about 7,000 local Greek Orthodox Christians all of whom are of Palestinian descent. However, before the l967 war there were 38,000 Christians in the area. The with the continuing exodus of Christians from the city, it is estimated that fifty years from now there might not be any Orthodox Christians left in Ramallah.

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Christmas in Jerusalem

Churches, monasteries, houses are decorated and ready to welcome tourists from all over the world. At the same time, the Israelis tighten their siege on the city, not allowing Palestinian Christians access to Jerusalem in order to celebrate Christmas. Meanwhile Western Christians are free to have access to Jerusalem and to any Palestinian area to practice their religion.

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Denied the freedom of movement in their own country, many Christian Palestinians, this year, like previous years, will not be able to reunite with relatives who living in different cities and will not participate together in the Christmas celebrations. Year by year thousands Christians in the Holy Land are forced to leave their homes seeking freedom in safer countries. Their numbers are dwindling alarmingly and the trend is continuing. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not settled soon, native Christians will soon disappear completely from the Holy Land.

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http://noctoc-noctoc.blogspot.com/2011/ ... -holy.html
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby supporttheunderdog » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:05 am

One must remember that Jesus was of the jewish race and religion.....
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby Maximus » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:16 am

supporttheunderdog wrote:One must remember that Jesus was of the jewish race and religion.....


We must also remember that the Jews delivered him to us.

Merry Christmas.
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby yialousa1971 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:48 pm

Jewish wasn't a Jew. Image
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby CBBB » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:23 pm

yialousa1971 wrote:Jewish wasn't a Jew. Image


No, but Jesus was a Cypriot!

He stayed with his parents till he was 33, he followed in his fathers trade, he thought his mother was a virgin, and his mother thought he was God!
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby Robin Hood » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:25 pm

Some documentaries which I thought explained all and the picture for Palestinians is not pretty.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/peace-propaganda-and-the-promised-land/
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/endgame-a-future-scenario-for-israel/
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/Palestine-is-still-the-issue/
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/dispatches-the-killing-zone/

The actions of the Israelis in Palestine is not far short of that the Nazi's carried out against the Jews in Europe. The only aspect that is missing are the gas chanbers. Gaza and the West Bank are nothing less than the worlds largest prison camps .... or maybe that should be Concentration Camps.

With Israel and the US doing all they can to justify a first strike against Iran, we in Cyprus should be very worried, after all Tel Aviv and Haifa are less than an hour away by commercial jet. Close enough for any fall out from a nuclear strike by Iran, in retaliation for any pre-emptive strike, to cover us .... depending on the wind speed and direction.
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby supporttheunderdog » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:58 pm

yialousa1971 wrote:Jewish wasn't a Jew. Image


Pissed where you?

According to the bible Jesus was definitely Jewish - a scion of the house of David
.
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby GreekIslandGirl » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:24 pm

supporttheunderdog wrote:
yialousa1971 wrote:Jewish wasn't a Jew. Image


Pissed where you?

According to the bible Jesus was definitely Jewish - a scion of the house of David
.


But He had an Epiphany when He was Baptised of His mortal connections. :)

(or so the story goes ...)
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby Schnauzer » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:11 pm

yialousa1971 wrote:
"Christians will soon disappear completely from the Holy Land".



Having just managed to prise myself free of the revellers who are still vigorously celebrating the advent of the 'New Year', I seized upon the opportunity of a perusal through the pages currently under discussion on 'Forum'.

My actual intention was (and still is) to wish everyone the very best of 'Good Luck', 'Good Health' and 'Happiness' in 2012 and the coming years.

However, on reading the final comment of THIS thread, I was immediately reminded of one which I submitted on February 27th 2011 which dealt with the 'Alleged' threat to Israel by President Ahmadinejad of Iran who was purported to have said that he would "Wipe Israel off the face of the map", (since disproved and recognised as little more than vicious Western propaganda) and, assuming that "yialousa 1971" has no objection, I intend to revive this thread since HE had the last comment on it.

I do hope that members will see the significance of the comparison between the two 'Comments', the former of which is quite true, the latter false but a useful reminder that we should ALL be extra vigilant in the coming year, "Lest we Forget".

As already stated, 'Best Wishes for the future' and hope to be back in touch more often quite soon. :wink:
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Re: Christmas without Christians in the Holy Land

Postby supporttheunderdog » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:21 pm

GreekIslandGirl wrote:
supporttheunderdog wrote:
yialousa1971 wrote:Jewish wasn't a Jew. Image


Pissed where you?

According to the bible Jesus was definitely Jewish - a scion of the house of David
.


But He had an Epiphany when He was Baptised of His mortal connections. :)

(or so the story goes ...)


The sort of ceremony Jesus went through was not Christian but an older Judaic ritual of purification - it was one the Christians - and early Christianity was a Judaic sect - took with them and probably developed.

Christianity as we know it is in fact probably a later invention of Saul of Tarsus and the early Christian councils which marked the split away from strict adeherence with the laws of Moses and other Judaic traditions, such as circumcision, some of which are said to date back to the founding of the Judaic faith by Abraham.
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