Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released his Christmas greeting today. In it, he warned of the existential threat to Christians in the Middle East with the rise of radical groups like the Muslim Brotherhood:
Today, Christian communities throughout the Middle East are shrinking, and many of them are endangered. This is, of course, not true in Israel. Here there is a strong and growing Christian community that participates fully in the life of our country. Israel is proud of its record of religious tolerance and pluralism, and Israel will continue to protect freedom of religion for all. And we will continue to safeguard places of Christian worship throughout our country. We will not tolerate any acts of violence or discrimination against any place of worship. This is not our way, and this is something we cannot accept.
While Netanyahu takes flack for speaking the truth about Islamic treatment of Christians throughout the Middle East, Israel continues to be a beacon of hope for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike who wish to live in peace, without fear of oppression based on religion. Were Jesus alive today, by contrast, he’d have to take a bulletproof bus out of Palestinian-controlled Bethlehem simply to avoid being killed or imprisoned for his Judaism.