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anonymous CHRISTIAN POPULATIONS AND A DEBATE!! May 17, 2009 12:40 PM

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The Situation Across the Mideast

As Bronner notes, the Christian population throughout the Middle East has been declining for decades. In 1914, Christians constituted 26.4 percent of the total population in what today is Israel, the Palestinian areas, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, while by 2005 they represented at most 9.2 percent (Phillipe Fargues, "The Arab Christians of the Middle East: A Demographic Perspective," in Christian Communities in the Arab Middle East, Andrea Pacini, ed, Oxford University Press, as cited in Justus Reid Weiner's Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.)

The Ignored Exception

The exception to this regional trend is Israel, where the Christian population has thrived.

As documented in the Central Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Abstract of Israel 2008 (Chart 2.2), in the last dozen years, Israel's Christian population grew from 120,600 in 1995 to 151,600 in 2007, representing a growth rate of 25 percent. In fact, the Christian growth rate has outpaced the Jewish growth in Israel in the last 12 years! In 1995, there were 4,522,300 Jews in Israel, and in 2007 there were 5,478,2000, representing a growth rate of 21 percent – 4 percent less than the Christian population grew during the same time....

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anonymous MY OPINION BY DONNA MATTHEWS! May 17, 2009 12:47 PM

I agree that the Christian population increasing in Israel, however, we can not know if the Christian populations all other Middle Eastern countries are declining, because many Christians can not safely declare their religion as Christian. There also is a great deal of evangelizing that is also unrecorded, by native Christians as well as missionaries. In fact, there are more underground native pastors, and evangelist now than missionaries in some countries, but again, they can not list or record their religion as Christian because it is too dangerous. I do not have statistics but I try to read and keep up on what is going on. IN countries that are too dangerous for Christians to meet openly, there has always been an underground Christian movement. And that movement is stronger than ever, at this moment.
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