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< How Americans read the Bible
Oct 28, 2011 12:30
Category: Religious News

Christian world in the Holy Land

 JAFFA, Israel (AP) - The schedules for Mass at the two Roman
Catholic churches in Jaffa, on Israel's Mediterranean coast, reveal
the changing face of Christianity in the Holy Land.
     The two Masses in Arabic for the town's native Arab Christian
population are outnumbered by four in English. Other Masses are in
Spanish, French, three South Asian languages and - for a generation
of Christians raised among Israel's Jewish majority - Hebrew.
     Father Ramzi Sidawi, an Arab Catholic from Jerusalem, is the
parish priest in Jaffa. Outside the church windows, he now listens
to children from Africa and the Philippines playing in Hebrew, the
language of their schools and their parents' employers.
     Catholics are not the only church dealing with demographic
shifts. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union began moving to
Israel en masse in the early 1990s, so the Russian Orthodox Church
now holds services in Hebrew every week in Jerusalem.