Israel - (Asia)
Information about Israel
The majority of the Christian minority in Israel are Eastern Orthodox or Catholic. They have lived in the country for many centuries. Today the situation of Arab Christians is delicate as they have to live, against their will, with the reality of the Jewish state. Prot churches arrived in the region in the 19th century. In 1842 Luth and Angl established a common bishopric in Palestine and appointed a bishop of Jewish descent in the hope of winning Jewish converts. In 1885 the Free Church of Scotland started missionary work in Palestine. In the 20th century they more and more adopted an attitude of dialogue and service toward the Jewish population. The political events of this century, especially the establishment of the State of Israel, motivated many Christians to come to the country. There are active missionary organizations, mainly from Scandinavia and from the United States, some of which are dispensationalists drawn to Israel in expectation of the events preceding the end times. Others have come for the purpose of dialogue with Jews. Three Ref Churches in the Netherlands, for instance (Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk, Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, Christelijk Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland), are represented by theologians functioning as a link with the Jewish community. These churches are also doing pastoral work with Christians visiting Israel. There are also Christians of Jewish parentage who relate either to Hebrew-speaking Christian — either RCath or Prot — communities or meet in small local assemblies and prefer to be called Messianic Jews.
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