Israel - Religions

Israel Religions 1454
Photo by: Argus

The land that is now Israel (which the Romans called Judea and then Palestine) is the cradle of two of the world's great religions, Judaism and Christianity. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Jewish history begins with Abraham's journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan, to which the descendants of Abraham would later return after their deliverance by Moses from bondage in Egypt. Jerusalem is the historical site of the First Temple, built by Solomon in the 10th century BC and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC , and the Second Temple, built about 70 years later and sacked by the Romans in AD 70. Belief in the life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (who, according to the Christian Scriptures, actually preached in the Second Temple) is the basis of the Christian religion. Spread by the immediate followers of Jesus and others, Christianity developed within three centuries from a messianic Jewish sect to the established religion of the Roman Empire. Jerusalem is also holy to Islam: the Dome of the Rock marks the site where, in Muslim tradition, Mohammed rose into heaven.

Present-day Israel is the only country where Judaism is the majority religion, professed by 80% of the population; over one-fourth of all the world's Jews live there. Most in the Jewish population describe themselves as secular or traditional Jews. About 5% are Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and about 13% are Orthodox. There are also a number of adherents who claim affiliation with Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist branches of Judaism, but these are not officially recognized.

Most Arabs are Sunni Muslims (14.6%). Christians (2.1%) are largely Greek Catholic or Greek Orthodox, but there are also Roman Catholics, Armenians, and Protestants. Other religions are claimed by the remaining 3.2% of the population. The Druzes, who split away from Islam in the 11th century, have the status of a separate religious community. The Baha'i world faith is centered in Haifa.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed. The Ministry of Religious Affairs assists institutions of every affiliation and contributes to the preservation and repair of their holy shrines, which are protected by the government and made accessible to pilgrims. Supreme religious authority in the Jewish community is vested in the chief rabbinate, with Ashkenazim and Sephardim each having a chief rabbi.

User Contributions:

george marks
Report this comment as inappropriate
Oct 13, 2009 @ 3:15 pm
you are right about all of that so thanks for all the facts i really appreaciate it
Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:10 am
This is a great site! It gave me a lot of good info for my report on Israel's Religions.
Report this comment as inappropriate
May 20, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
The passange of Israels religion is very interesting and very imforming for me because of my project for school!
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 17, 2012 @ 11:11 am
Thank you! I found this website when I was going crazy trying to remember the name of Druze. It helped a lot! Thanks again!
Wayne Spielman
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 20, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
This is an excellent site that shows that Israel is not a closed nation to other religions. Thanks
joelle klimok
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 12, 2012 @ 5:17 pm
all these facts are true about the history of israel and it really helps when you r doing a project and looking for facts about isreals religion
victor nguewetcha
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 17, 2012 @ 9:09 am
Good to plunge in the source of origins. This is a guide tool which could be of great interest to people not to juge wrongly but to have a best understanding of events and fight for ISRAEL. Thanks for the article.
Rosah Alcalah
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 7, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
GReat Facts ! Thanks ! (: This is great for school projects & History research !
Noah Babauta
Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 25, 2014 @ 3:03 am
Thanks for this info it has lots of it its going great for my project
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 13, 2014 @ 9:09 am
Wow after a lot of arguements on this topic,I finally have the wright answers.kudos guys, nice work.
Report this comment as inappropriate
Nov 12, 2016 @ 4:04 am
I really appreciate this website,is so Educating and reliable. Kudos to you,thanks a lot.

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: