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Israel’s Christian Community Booming, Data Show

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa leads Easter Sunday Mass amid eased COVID restrictions, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City, April 4, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The Israeli-Christian population is growing rapidly and continues to enjoy high educational and professional attainment levels, according to numbers recently released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

According to the report from last month, 187,900 Christians reside in Israel, an increase of 1.3 percent from the year before, marking the third consecutive year the population has grown.

In 2021, the Christian population rose to 182,000 with an increase of 1.4 percent, and in 2022, the growth was 2 percent to 185,000 people, according to the CBS’s data. The vast majority of the Christian population — 75.3 percent — are Arab Christians, while Christians make up 1.9 percent of Israel’s total population.

The largest Arab Christian population centers in Israel are Nazareth (20,800), Haifa (16,800), and Jerusalem (13,000).

CBS data has shown that Arab Christian women have some of the highest educational attainment levels in the country.

The latest report found that 55.1 percent of Arab Christians continued their studies toward a bachelor’s degree within eight years of graduating high school, compared to only 34.6 percent of the total number of high school graduates in the Arab school system and 48.1 percent of all graduates in Hebrew education.

According to previous CBS data, 84 percent of Christians are satisfied with their life in Israel: 24 percent answered “very satisfied” and 60 percent were “satisfied.”

In 2021, 815 Christian couples married in Israel, with the average age for the first marriage of Christian grooms being 30.7, and that of Christian brides being 27.4.

The post Israel’s Christian Community Booming, Data Show first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters

Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition.   “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]

The post ‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed

FILE PHOTO: Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi speaks during his transition ceremony with the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and the outgoing chief, in Jerusalem, January 16, 2023. Maya Alleruzzo/Pool via REUTERS

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.

“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.

He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”

The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.

A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”

Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.

The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas

A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]

The post Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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