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Israel has a population of 8.25 million of whom 75% are Jewish, 20.7% are Arabs and 4.3% are “other” most of whom are non-Arab Christians. The Christians are 161,000 or 2% of the population of Israel.

Most Israeli Arab Christians live in northern Israel, numbering about 110,000 in Haifa, Nazareth and in the Galilee. About 300,000 non-Jewish immigrants also live in Israel, most of whom have emigrated from traditionally Orthodox countries as well as Africa and the Far East.

Israeli Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, hope to achieve communal and individual equality with the Jewish majority. The government provides major assistance to Catholic and Orthodox schools, but not enough to maintain the high standards principals demand of themselves. Job opportunities are few and housing remains an issue. Discrimination and neglect remain a large problem for Israeli Arabs. As a result, Israeli Arab communities tend to have higher unemployment, poverty and school drop-out rates than Israeli Jewish communities.

The needs of Israel’s Christian community have been neglected for decades.

The Pontifical Mission plans to conduct a needs assessment to better evaluate the direct and immediate needs of this vulnerable community.