Religion plays a significant and important role in the shaping of Israel’s history, lifestyle, and culture. It is the only country in which the majority of citizens are Jewish. However, most of the Israeli population is identified as Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. These three identified religions of the country attract tourist from all around the world to come and visit some of the holiest sites in the world.
The majority of the population in Israel is followers of Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative Judaism. Many Israelis who are followers of the Orthodox religion believe in the Jewish Law and Torah is divine and should be followed respectively. They believe the laws are not alterable. However, unlike Orthodox Judaism, Reform and Conservative Judaism are more liberal. Those who follow this religion consider the Jewish laws as more of guidelines instead of restrictions that all Jews should follow.
Among all the Muslims that reside in Israel, the majority of them are Sunni Arabs while the Ahmadiyyas section is the second largest which operate mostly in Haifa, Israel where the Middle Eastern headquarters are located. The Alwite and Shia Muslims are other minority Muslim sections within the country. Muslims who follow The Qur'an believe it was revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.
3. Christianity The majority of Christians living in Israel are Arabs, or have come from other countries to work and live in monasteries or churches. Also, many Christians from around the world visit Israel to see the holy site of Bethlehem where Jesus of Nazareth was born, visit the Galilee where he lived, and tour Jerusalem where he was crucified. There are many other sites that Christians visit that are believed to be part of their Christian faith such as the churches and monasteries.
Since there are three major religions I n the small state of Israel, there are several cases of tensions between the different religious groups. For example, there have been tense relationships within the Jewish community, and between the Jews and Christians. Politically, Christians and Muslims both agree that Israel cannot be a Jewish state and a democracy at the same time. Though Judaism is a religion of the majority, the State of Israel does respect all other religions or allow the freedom for its people to practice the religion of their choice.
By: Lani Shamah