Christianity is one of the recognized religions in Israel and is practised by more than 161,000 Israeli citizens (about 1.1% of population). They include 127,000 Arab Christians (mostly adherents of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem as well as Melkite and Latin Catholics, with small numbers of Galilean Maronites, Copts and Protestants), about 25,000 Orthodox Christians from the former Soviet Union (Eastern Orthodox) and smaller minorities of Assyrians and Armenians. A certain number of Israelis also practice Messianic Judaism—usually considered a form of Christianity, with estimates of several thousands, but exact numbers of such are not available. There are approximately 300 Christians who have converted from Islam according to one 2014 estimate, and most of these belong to various Protestant and evangelical churches.About 80% of Christian residents of Israel are Arab Christians. The practice of religion is free, and there is no limitation for other forms of Christianity as well as other faiths.
The Christian-Muslim relations are generally cold but rely on the common ethnicity of the Israeli Arab Muslims and Arab Christians, who form the majority of Israeli Christians. A recent survey indicated that Christians in Israel are prosperous and well-educated - but some fear that Muslim intimidation will cause a mass escape to the WestRecently there has been an increase of anti-Christian incidents in the Nazareth area, inspired by the rise of Jihadist forces in the Middle East. Many Christians have complained of being targeted by Muslims, whom they believe are trying to either drive them out of cities that have traditionally had large Christian populations, or to "persuade" them to convert. In 1999, for example, radical Muslims in Nazareth rioted as they attempted to wrest land from a major Christian shrine to build a mosque. In one incident during 2014, a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was installed in front of a church in Nazareth.There has also been increasing incitement and violence by the Muslims against Christians who voice their support for the Israel Defense Forces. In a recent case, the son of Father Gabriel Naddaf, a prominent Christian who is regarded as being pro-Israel, was severely beaten.
Christian Arabs are one of the most educated groups in Israel. Maariv has described the Christian Arabs sectors as "the most successful in education system" since Christian Arabs fared the best in terms of education in comparison to any other group receiving an education in Israel. Christian Arabs have one of the highest rates of success in the matriculation examinations, (64%) both in comparison to the Muslims and the Druze and in comparison to all students in the Jewish education system as a group, although lower than the secular Jewish education (64.5%) and the national religious Jewish education (65.9%). Arab Christians were also the vanguard in terms of eligibility for higher education. and they have attained a bachelor's degree and academic degree more than the median Israeli population.The rate of students studying in the field of medicine was also higher among the Christian Arab students, compared with all the students from other sectors. the percentage of Arab Christian women who are higher education students is higher than other sectors. despite that Arab Christian account 2.1% of the total Israeli population, In 2014 the percentage of Arab Christian of the total Israeli Universities students was 17.0%, and 14.4% of the total Israeli College students,According to study Are Christian Arabs the New Israeli Jews? Reflections on the Educational Level of Arab Christians in Israel by Hanna David from the University of Tel Aviv.
In terms of their socio-economic situation, Arab Christians are more similar to the Jewish population than to the Muslim Arab population. They have the lowest incidence of poverty and the lowest percentage of unemployment which is 4.9% compared to 6.5% among Jewish men and women.They have also the highest median household income among Arab citizens of Israel and second highest median household income among the Israeli ethno-religious groups. Also Arab Christians have a high presentation in science and in the white collar professions. In Israel Arab Christians are portrayed as a hard working and upper middle class educated ethno-religious minority.
Arab Christians are doing amazing well in Israel
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