Gareth Smith (Dec 30/12/2015) should speak to more Christians in Israel. And he should try to privately speak with Palestinian Christians when they are not in fear of death from the Palestinian security service.
Having just returned from Israel, here are a few facts told to me by ‘Gabriel’, a prominent member of the Armenian Christian community in Old Jerusalem.
1/ The Christain Quarter, written in all maps of Old City, is no longer. The Christians have been forced out by the Muslims, who now totally own what was previously the the ‘Christian Quarter’.
2/ Christians have been forced out of Bethlehem by the Muslims.
A skeletal population of 10 per cent remain. Only the Church, and the De La Salle school and university also remain as Christian institutions.
3/ Most remaining Christians including Armenians in the Old City of Jerusalem are seriously considering moving out to Jewish towns and Jewish parts of cities, where they feel safer for themselves and their children.
Others are looking to emigrate to Australia, UK, USA and Canada.
Directly because of Muslim pressure, only 9 per cent of Jerusalem now remains Christian (72,000 out of a total of 80,0000 population).
John Nemesh, Sylvania