Church Office of Statistics publishes latest data on the Holy Land

.- Pope Benedict will begin his trip to the Holy Land this Friday. In anticipation of the visit, the Central Statistical Office of the Church has published information detailing the presence and ministry of the Church in the region.

The information on the Church was last updated on December 31, 2007.

Jordan has a population of 5,720,000 of whom 109,000 (1.91 percent) are Catholic. There are three Church provinces (ecclesiastical circumscriptions) and sixty-four parishes. Currently, there are four bishops, 103 priests and 258 religious. Major seminarians number seven.

A total of 30,595 students attend the 123 infant, primary, middle and secondary schools that belong to the Catholic Church or are run by priests or religious. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Jordan include two hospitals, one clinic, one family counseling center and three centers for education and social rehabilitation.

Israel and the Palestinian Territories have a population of 7,180,000 of whom 130,000 (1.81 percent) are Catholic. There are nine Church provinces (ecclesiastical circumscriptions), seventy-eight parishes and three pastoral centers of other kinds. Currently, there are eleven bishops, 406 priests, 1,171 religious and one lay missionary. Minor seminarians number fourteen and major seminarians 110.

A total of 43,876 students attend 192 centers of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Israel and the Palestinian Territories include eleven hospitals, ten clinics, nine homes for the elderly or disabled, eleven orphanages and nurseries, four centers for education and social rehabilitation, and two institutions of other kinds.

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