Palestinian Christians, the forgotten faithful, belong to the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant communities. Their language is Arabic; they are considered forgotten because most Christians in the West are unaware of their existence.
In the universal church, Palestinian Christians are unique due to their centuries of history and attachment to the land of Jesus Christ's birth, death, and resurrection. Some of these
Christians can trace their family lineage to the early days of the church; they are the direct descendants of those who first followed Jesus.
Living under Israeli occupation, seeing their homes and lands confiscated, having schools repeatedly closed, blocked from traveling even for health or religious purposes, and with increasingly limited employment opportunities, thousands of Christians have emigrated to other countries.
In 1948, Christians comprised about 18 percent of the population of the Holy Land; today they are less than 2 percent. The population decline in Jerusalem has been even more dramatic. In 1922, Christians numbered 51 percent of the population in Jerusalem; in 1978, 10 percent; and in 1990, only 4 percent of the population was Christian. The Christians who remain deserve recognition of their struggle to gain freedom and peace in the land called holy. Pilgrims from the West who meet and pray with Holy Land Christians realize that they have individually and collectively shared deeply in the way of the cross.