The only place where Christians are allowed to thrive and practice their religion in peace, as well as being equal contributors in a non-Christian society in the Middle East, is in Israel. But in Muslim dominated areas, like in Europe and elsewhere, we see stark a reminder of what’s happening throughout the Islamic world, Christians on the run.
NOTE: One of the main reasons for public services being poorer in Israeli towns populated mainly by Muslims, is their failure to raise the proper revenue from its residents, as it’s done elsewhere throughout Israel in general. If they refuse to pay their local taxes, then they themselves are much to blame, as they are for making it intolerable for Christians to live there.
H/T: Matti Nevalainen
Nazareth’s dwindling Christian populace torn between moving out, fighting back
This month’s local elections underline the bleak and bitter rivalries in the city of Jesus’s childhood
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” wondered Nathaneal, a disciple of Jesus, in the Gospel of John. Asked today, that question would have many of the city’s residents hard-pressed for an answer.
The upcoming municipal elections, scheduled for October 22, find the largest Arab city in Israel impoverished and depressed. A nationwide study, conducted by the Ministry of Public Security in August, revealed that Nazareth residents are the most likely Israelis to fear falling victim to crime. They also reported the lowest sense of personal security, along with the inhabitants of the crime-ridden cities of Ramle and Lod.
“Things have deteriorated in this city,” said an elderly woman walking down Nazareth’s main street on Thursday, wearing a necklace with a large golden Cross. “No citizen gets any help — not from the municipality, nor from the government, nor from the police.”
Like its Christian twin. Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Nazareth’s demographic makeup has dramatically changed over the past six decades, a fact some residents tie to the deteriorating sense of security and general “low quality of life.” From being a city with a large Christian majority before 1948, today 70 percent of Nazareth’s 80,000 residents are Muslim. The change dates back to Israel’s War of Independence, when an influx of internally displaced villagers from the surrounding area relocated to Nazareth. Researchers also point to a significantly higher Muslim birth rate.
Religious tension in the city came to the fore in the early 2000s, when the local Muslims began constructing a new mosque near the Basilica of the Annunciation, the city’s towering Christian landmark. In early 2002, the government decided to halt construction on the site, built over the grave of Salladin’s nephew Shihab a-Din, following massive pressure from the Vatican. The Muslims were infuriated by the move, but put up little resistance when an illegal structure they had built on the site was bulldozed the following year.