In a groundbreaking report, the JCPA exposes a common myth used to slander Israel. We are often told that Israel’s policies are causing a mass exodus of Palestinian Christians.
However, the JCPA report reveals, the Palestinian Christian population has grown in both Israel and in the West Bank – and has growing been since 1967. This flies in the face of a misinformation campaign that has been used by anti-Israel groups to add “urgency” to their criticism of Israeli policies.
The report documents repeated instances of data being used, often with great distortion, to pin a Christian exodus on Israel. The data are misleading. They often over-report the population prior to Israel’s creation, sometimes by more than 200%. They underreported the current population, sometimes by comparing the entire region in 1948 with smaller areas today. The West Bank Christian population dropped under Jordanian rule but has increased since 1967, when it came under Israeli and later Palestinian Authority control. The Christian population in Israel proper has increased even more dramatically – in some years outpacing Jewish growth. This, of course, stands in stark contrast with surrounding countries in which the decrease is real. The report also exposes a stunning flaw in another common method of expressing a Christian population decline. Palestinian Christian activists have frequently stated that their population should have grown at 2% annually, but for emigration related to Israeli policy. However, the average growth worldwide today is almost half that. Had the U.S. grown at 2%, since 1948, our census would have shown a 510 million instead of 310 million.