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    A survey published by the Muslim-Christian Council in Jerusalem found that the population of Christians in the Palestinian Authority (PA) is on a steep decline following religious persecution they have encountered. The latest census showed that Christians comprise only one percent of the PA population, or just 45,000.

    The Christian community in the Palestinian Authority (PA) was shaken once again with another attack on a Christian institution.

    The Christian community is part of the Palestinian nation and he will not allow any of its members to be harmed. —Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh

    Vandals broke into the Anglican Church in the PA village of Aboud on May 16, 2019 and stole church valuables, including religious items, jewelry, and electronic equipment, reports World Israel News.

    A resident of Aboud claimed that the incident was a religion-based hate crime following a trend of attacks against Christians in the PA. Just recently, St. Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem was robbed, the sixth time the monastery was targeted in years.

    Christians living in the town of Jifna were also attacked last month. Suspected Fatah activists raided the community and forced Christians to pay Jizyah, or Muslim ransom tax, reports Israel News agency, TPS.

    Sources said Fatah activists came into Jifna driving wildly and throwing firebombs at buildings. The assault came after a Christian filed a complaint against a senior Fatah official.

    In a speech on Black Saturday, Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh said, “The Christian community is part of the Palestinian nation and he will not allow any of its members to be harmed.”

    Christians in Jifna appealed through social media for the newly- appointed PM to provide security for them. They denounced the latest attack, saying Christians are forced to pay Jizyah for protection, but their safety remains challenging.

    Non-Muslim residents pay Jizyah in exchange for protection by Muslim rulers. This annual per capita tax is also seen as a ritual humiliation of people living in Muslim lands and not converting to Islam.

    The head of the PA armed forces, Mahmoud Abbas, was also criticized for his inaction following reports that members of the security forces participated in the attack.