As Christian persecution in the Middle East increases, there is one place Christians are able to find refuge – Israel.
According to recent data from CBS, the number of Christians in Israel has been on the rise for the last two years, going from 182,000 to 185,000 or 1.9% of the population. The overwhelming number of Christians in Israel, about three-quarters (75.3%), are Arabs.
Arab Christians find more freedom and safety in Israel than in all the surrounding nations including Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
In direct contrast, as the number of Christians increase in Israel, they are on a sharp decline in the Middle East. Extreme persecution against Arab Christians has led to mass evacuation of Christians in the Middle East. In Palestine alone for instance, the population of Christians in places like Bethlehem was at 84% of the population in 1922. Today, Christians only make up less than 1% of all of Palestine!
Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of the founder of Hamas, shares details about his experience of converting to Christianity from Islam. Fearing for his life, he was one of the Arab Christians who was forced to flee from Palestine to Israel.
The details of his story can be found in the book SON OF HAMAS. A great read during the holidays.