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December 29, 2015 10:46 am

UK Paper Outdoes Itself; Says Israel Worst Place for Christians on Christmas — Ahead of Syria, Iraq, North Korea and Others

avatar by Adam Levick

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A Catholic procession on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. Photo: Darko Tepert.

A Catholic procession on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. Photo: Darko Tepert.

It sometimes seems as if the UK media truly can’t help themselves. Not only do news sites fail to acknowledge the undeniable truth that Israel is the only state in the Middle East that fiercely protects the rights of their Christian population, but they also insist — every holiday season — on repeating false narratives suggesting that Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, are hampered by “the occupation.”

However, some UK news sites go even further, and suggest that Israel is actually oppressing its Christian population.

One of the more egregious examples of this entirely erroneous claim can be found in the British tabloid Daily Express in a report published on December 26.

Remarkably, Israel is atop their list of worst places to be Christian this Christmas, ahead of Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Gambia.

To see the absurdity of their decision to include Israel on the list at all, note how the worst persecution they could find “in Israel” is Christians being told (by the Palestinian Authority, let’s remember) to “tone down their Christmas celebrations.” In Syria and Iraq, on the other hand, Christians face “abduction, torture and murder” and ethnic cleansing by ISIS.  While hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee ISIS-controlled territories in recent years, the indigenous Christian population in Israel has increased 300 percent since its founding.

In fact, quite tellingly, the Daily Express failed to note that the PA had to beef up security in Bethlehem, and “tone down celebrations” — due in part to intelligence reports indicating that Salafists affiliated with ISIS may have planned to launch an attack.

Contrary to the message conveyed in the Daily Express article, Christians are thriving in Israel — a country that represents a beacon of religious freedom in a region awash in intolerance and extremism.

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