Christianity In Palestine
Palestinian Christians are Christians descended from the peoples of the geographical area of Palestine, that is within modern Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, as well as Christians who emigrated to the area. In this area, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic (Eastern and Western rites), Protestant, and others. In both the local dialect of Palestinian Arabic and in classical or modern standard Arabic, Christians are called Nasrani (a derivative of the Arabic word for Nazareth, al-Nasira) or Masihi (a derivative of Arabic word Masih, meaning "Messiah"). In Hebrew, they are called Notzri (also spelt Notsri), which means "Nazarene".
Today, Christians comprise less than 4% of Palestinians living within the borders of former Mandate Palestine. They are approximately 4% of the West Bank population, less than 1% in Gaza, and nearly 10% of Israel's Palestinian population. According to official British Mandate estimates, Mandate Palestine’s Christian population in 1922 comprised 9.5% of the total population and 7.9% in 1946. Today, the majority of Palestinian Christians live outside of the former Mandate Palestine because of emigration. The reasons for the emigration are hotly debated, but the same pattern is unfolding in several other Arab countries where Christian communities are under increasing pressure.
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