Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Many of These Do You Find in Arab Countries?

Today I went to the Old City of Jerusalem with family.  Just outside of Sha'ar Yaffo, the Jaffa Gate were lots of tables with colorful awnings.  They are all decorated for Xmas.  Christians here in Israel are given lots of freedom of worship.

I also noticed the variety of religious items on display at the various stores in the Arab Market of the Old City.

Yes, Jewish and Christian items share the shelves in many of the stores.  You certainly won't find this sort of display in an Arab country.

So, where, in which country in the Middle East do people of all religions have the opportunity supported by law to practice their religion without persecution?


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Absolutely true!
As a non-Israeli, I have always been proud of this freedom for non-Jewish citizens, the fact that Christians practice & visit their sites freely, there are Arab MKs, etc.
Still - I worry because of the tensions between the fact that it's a Jewish country vs the growing non-Jewish population.
In this unenlightened era, even as a halachic Jew, I don't necessarily want halacha to become the rule of law (as shariah is in Islamic countries), and this is actually a good example of why, since many Christian symbols (ie those that purportedly offer an image of the God) would no doubt be forbidden under strictly halachic rule.
But then, the downside of all this diversity and respect for other faiths is perhaps the disrespect the government occasionally demonstrates towards our own. :-(
Food for thought, for sure.

Moriah said...

G-d will ultimately decide what type of society we live in after Geulah is ushered in. I don't think there will be any xmas table or prayer beads seen anywhere. Nor foreign worship or places of foreign worship. That I can guarantee...

Cindy said...

I am a Christian and I am an American. I live in Seattle and have read your blog for a month or two. America is becoming more anti Christ every year. Just last month our state voted to legalize same sex marriage. At this time of year there are athiest groups that fight to have nativity scenes removed from public and private property. It seems most of the people in the U.S. want nothing to do with God or what He stands for. Yes, we can freely worship for now but we feel that will change in the near future. (I know your question wasn't about this, I just wanted to comment about America.)

Batya said...

Jennifer, here in Israel, at least our Holidays and Day of Rest is Jewish. Unforturnately it is now legal for some stores and shopping centers to be open on Shabbat. It depends on where you live, how much of the chillul Shabbat you'll see.

Geula is Jewish, Moriah, yes.

Cindy, I guess things have changed a lot since when I was a child in the states.

Thanks for the comments.

Shy Guy said...

אֵיכָה הָיְתָה לְזוֹנָה, קִרְיָה נֶאֱמָנָה - ישיעהו 1:21

"How is the faithful city become a harlot!" - Isaiah 1:21

Batya said...

Shy, yes, true