woensdag 6 mei 2009

godsdienstvrijheid in Israel

Godsdienstvrijheid in Israel
Israel is een Joodse staat, maar er wonen veel mensen met een andere religie en wel 25% van de bevolking is niet Joods.
Deze mensen hebben allen vrijheid van godsdienst.
Anders dan in de omringende landen hebben zij als burgers van Israel dezelfde burgerrechten als de Joodse inwoners.
Het is interessant om te zien dat ook de Bahai`s in Israel niet alleen vrij zijn hun godsdienst uit te oefenen, maar zelfs hun heiligdom bevindt zich in Israel.
Juist de Bahai`s worden in de omringende landen vervolgd.

Religious Freedom in Israel: A Fundamental Guarantee
Israel Funds Mosques, Korans; Protects Holy Sites for All

Israel's Mandate for Religious Freedom                                                   
Jews in Israel
                                                                        Muslims in Israel                                   
Christians in Israel
                                                             Druze in Israel                              
Bahá'í in Israel

As a country in the Middle East committed to the free practice of religion for all, regardless of religious affiliation, Israel stands as an oasis of religious freedom in the Middle East. The Israeli government supports religious services for communities of all faiths. That includes funding Korans and the operating costs for more than 100 mosques  as well as the salaries of Muslim religious leaders; serving as a safe haven for minorities persecuted in surrounding countries; allowing citizens of any religion to hold political office; and paying for the upkeep of holy sites for all religions.

Israel's Declaration of Independence: A Mandate for Religious Freedom

Israel's Declaration of Independence, issued in 1948,
describes the country as a Jewish state but clearly extends religious freedoms to all of its inhabitants by stating: the State of Israel "will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions." 

As a state that comprises people of many ethnicities and religious backgrounds, Israel encourages minorities to take an active role in politics and government. All Israeli citizens enjoy the right to vote and can run for political office, including the presidency. 

Every person in Israel enjoys freedom of conscience, of belief, of religion, and of worship. This freedom is guaranteed to every person in every enlightened, democratic regime, and therefore it is guaranteed to every person in Israel. It is one of the fundamental principles upon which the State of Israel is based.

-Moshe Landau, Former Israeli Supreme Court Justice

Since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has granted access to holy sites of all faiths and has restored and rebuilt Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy sites.

In 1992, the Knesset, or Israeli Parliament, passed the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty, which codified civil and human rights into law.  Although the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty refers to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state," Israel does not have an official religion.  Each of the country's largest religious communities – Christian, Druze, Jewish, Muslim – has jurisdiction over its internal affairs, religious affairs and personal status including marriage, divorce and burial.  All religious family courts are recognized as autonomous and paid for by the Israeli government. 

Coexistence in Israel: An Arab and a Hassidic Jew in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem
Photo Courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism Web site

Religious Groups in Israel

Israel comprises people who practice a variety of faiths, and all enjoy full rights to do so without fear of persecution or unequal treatment under the law. Israel recognizes five religions - Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Druze and Bahá'í.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, the religious demographics of Israel are as follows:

Jews and "Others" 80 percent:
      Jews: 75.7 percent
      Non-Arab Christians: .4 percent
      Not classified by religion: 3.9 percent
Arabs 20 percent:
      Muslim: 16.6 percent
      Christian: 1.7 percent
      Druze: 1.7 percent

Jews in Israel:
Israel is the only country in the world where the majority of the citizens are Jewish.  The Jewish spectrum in Israel ranges from those who regard themselves as secular, or non-observant, to those who are ultra-Orthodox, or observant.  Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism and is home to many of the religion's sacred sites including the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and the Tomb of David. 

Muslims in Israel:
Israel's Muslim population consists primarily of about 1.4 million Sunni Arabs, who mostly live in northern Israel
 Circassians and Bedouins are members of Israel's Muslim sector.  The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which contains the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is Islam's third-holiest site. Other notable sites include the El-Jazzar mosque in Acre and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron in the West Bank, referred to historically as Judea and Samaria, which could become part of a future Palestinian state.  Israel funds more than 100 mosques and pays the salaries of their imams (religious leaders). In addition, Israel purchases the Korans used in mosques.  The Israeli government also funds Arab schools as well as numerous Islamic schools and colleges. Arab-operated schools teach Islamic studies and Arabic, in addition to the Israel Ministry of Education's general curriculum. 

Christians in Israel:
Israel is home to the holiest sites in Christianity, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified and resurrected; 
the Basilica of Annunciation in the Galilee town of Nazareth, in northern Israel; the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the West Bank; the Room of the Last Supper and the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem; the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel; and the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, revered in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. 

Israel officially recognizes 10 Christian denominations for the purposes of personal status such as marriage and divorce: Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Maronite, Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Chaldean Catholic and (Anglican) Episcopal. 
The majority of Christians in Israel are Arabs belonging to the Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. 

Druze in Israel:
The Druze community has a special standing in Israel for its contribution to the country's defense. Israeli Druze

A Druze woman baking pita in Daliat el-Carmel, the largest Druze village in Israel, southeast of Haifa
Photo Courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

are required to serve in the IDF and have held prominent positions in politics, the military and public office. Israel's Druze are loyal to the country and often place their flag alongside Israel's. Most of the country's 113,000 Druze live in 22 villages in northern Israel; Daliyat el-Carmel on Mount Carmel, southeast of Haifa, is the most populous Druze village with 13,000 residents.  The tomb of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses, is one of the most important sites in the Druze faith. Another important Druze religious place, the tomb of Nebi Shu'eib, sits in the Galilee near the Horns of Hittin – a twin mountain near Tiberias and the site of a major battle of the Crusades. 

Bahá'í in Israel:

Israel serves as a haven for the Bahá'í, a religious minority that originated in Persia and whose adherents have been routinely persecuted under the Islamic Shia government in IranThere are about six million Bahá'ís in

The Shrine of the Báb, the predecessor of Bahá'u'lláh and founder of the Bahá'í Faith, in Haifa. The Shrine is the resting place of the Báb's remains.
Photo Courtesy of Bahá'í Topics (http://info.bahai.org)

the world, residing in more than 200 countries and territories.  Roughly 700 to 800  Bahá'í volunteers from 60 countries reside near the Bahá'í World Centre, in the northern port city of Haifa, where they administer the internal and international affairs of the Bahá'í world community. The staff cares for the Bahá'í holy sites in Israel including Bahjí, where the founder of the Bahá'í faith, Bahá'u'lláh, died in Acre in northern Israel

The Israelproject

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