By now, the threat facing Christianity in its birthplace has become depressingly clear. Christians represented 30 percent of British Mandate Palestine in 1948, while today their share in Israel and the Palestinian Territories is estimated at 1.25 percent. The risk, as the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, has put it, is that the Holy Land is becoming a “spiritual Disneyland” — full of glittering rides and attractions, but empty of its indigenous Christian population.

French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and formerly Pope John Paul II’s top diplomat, offers another evocative image: The Christian centers of the Holy Land as “archeological and historical sites, to be visited like the Colosseum in Rome … museums with entrance tickets, and guides who explain the beautiful legends.”

This decline in the Holy Land is part of a broad Christian exodus all across the Middle East. The reasons are also well known, and fairly obvious…

Continue Reading on