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Bethlehem's exodus: Christians flee Muslim pressure
NY Post ^ | December 23, 2009 | BENNY AVNI

Posted on 12/23/2009 3:14:52 AM PST by Scanian

The pilgrims will be there as midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity is again broadcast live around the world this Christmas Eve -- but the town of Bethlehem is fast losing its last few year-round Christian residents.

Christians are fleeing the town of Christ's birth, and the much-reported hardship that Israel inflicts on residents of the West Bank town has little to do with it. It's the same reality across the Arab world: rising Islamism pushes non-Muslims away.

Islamists frown on real-estate ownership by non-Muslims -- Christian, Jew or anything else. And though the secular Palestinian Authority still controls the West Bank, the clout of groups like Hamas is growing: Even in Bethlehem, where followers of history's most famous baby once thrived, Christians are ceding the land.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Current Events; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: bethlehem; bethlehemchristians; christians; churchofnativity; flee; hamas; holyland; muslims; pa; persecution

1 posted on 12/23/2009 3:14:52 AM PST by Scanian
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