Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 19, 2020 / 03:00 am
A new survey of Palestinian Christians reveals that many not only fear economic hardship and the annexation of their land, but are also concerned about the attitudes of their Muslim neighbors.
The survey, supported by the Philos Project, seeks to shed light on the daily challenges and difficulties of Palestinian Christians and delve more deeply into their concerns.
“That’s one thing that the Christians in the West have to hear, is that try to go deeper when you come to the region, than just speaking to the clerics,” Khalil Sayegh, a Palestinian Christian and advocacy fellow with the Philos Project, told CNA.
“Go to the actual folks, go to the actual people and talk to them,” he added, “actual marginalized Christians who need to be heard.”
The survey of 995 Christians was supported by the Philos Project, a group that advocates for Christians in the Near East as part of a broader goal of religious pluralism in the region and of educating Western Christians on their situation.
The group’s executive director Robert Nicholson explained that emigration of Christians from Palestine had been a concern of his “for a long time.”
The survey, he said, stemmed in part from a conversation with a senior official of the Palestinian Authority about the alarming trend of Christians leaving the region. Pollster Dr. Khalil Shikaki of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) conducted the study.
Palestinian Christians are twice as likely as their Muslim neighbors to emigrate, the Philos Project says.