The Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel just published a new report on Christians in Israel on Christmas Eve.

Around 175,000 Christians live in the country, representing 2% of the population of Israel. The Christian population in the country grew around 2.2% last year compared to 1.4% the previous year.

In general, the Christian population in Israel has increased significantly since the creation of the State. In the year 1950, there were around 40,000 Christians in the country.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has highlighted this issue on numerous occasions in past speeches with special emphasis on the comparison with the rest of the Middle East: “Israel is the only country, in thousands of kilometers around, where Christians not only survive but thrive” , explained Netanyahu in a speech last July. He added that “Christian religious sites are protected and Christians pray without fear.”

About 70% of the country’s Christian population lives in the north and the city with the most Christians is Nazareth (22,100), followed by Haifa (15,800) and Jerusalem (12,600). Nearly 77% of Christians in Israel speak the Arabic language. The remaining percentage are mainly Christians who came to Israel with Jewish relatives as part of the  “Law of Return”.

The Christian population in Israel stands out in other areas such as academia and female inclusion. Women make up 75.2% of Christians who study a second degree, compared to 62.7% in the general population. In addition, the percentage of Christians who study careers such as engineering, architecture, law, and medicine is greater than that of Muslim Arabs.