The 50,000 to 76,000 Christians in Palestine are distributed over fifteen different church communities, of which the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic are the largest.
The various churches are organized hierarchically with priests, bishops and patriarchs. During the past years, there has been growing criticism of the Greek leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church among its own members. Many of the higher offices within the church are held by Greeks instead of Palestinians. The mother church is insufficiently investing in the local churches, and the quality of the education is lagging behind. In addition, there have been a number of real estate scandals in East Jerusalem among the patriarch and Jewish settlers. For a substantial number of church members this was reason to migrate to other church communities.
Many Muslim parents enrol their children in private denominational schools linked to church communities as a result of the high standards of education. The schools welcome this as it advances normal relations between Christian and Muslim populations.
Yahya ibn Abi Kathir (769-848)