Introduction to North Sites

Light Reflection on the Sea of Galillee
Light Reflection on the Sea of Galillee

We hear about Palestinian Christians in the news but only rarely about Israeli Christians. There are more than 1.7 million Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. They are not occupied by military forces but they are disadvantaged because they are Christians in an Israeli Jewish State. They experience life as a minority similar to minorities in other countries, and often in the USA. Sometimes they cannot purchase houses in certain cities. Israel has not done much urban planning, so Palestinian Christians in Israel see their homes demolished. They needed to build on extra space to accommodate growing families but they are often not given permits to do the construction, so the house is destroyed. There is job discrimination and other forms of discrimination as well. 

Talk about a two state solution in the West overlooks the fact that there are millions of Israeli citizens who consider themselves Palestinians. They would find themselves in an exclusive Jewish State, continuing life as a minority. They hope for a single state with laws making everyone equal.

There are differences between the Christians in the North and the South because they live in diverse circumstances. Differences have also arisen because the Christians in the West Bank have had much more contact with Europeans and Americans. The Israeli Christians tend to be more conservative theologically in contrast with the West Bank Christians. American Christians who visit the Christian Holy Land need to support all Christians who live there.

Rooftops of Nazareth
Rooftops of Nazareth

The main places that people want to visit in the North are Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. Some other places are listed in the section “Other Sites Visited By Jesus” which describes places mentioned in the Gospels as Jesus moved around the countryside with the disciples, healing and teaching.

There is a “Jesus trail” supported by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, but it was not planned with the help of churches and ignores the many Christian villages that were destroyed over the years. It also includes overnight stops at Jewish kibbutzim rather than Christian towns.

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