Sons of the New Testament
Bnei Brit HaHadasha
בני ברית החדשה
|Founded||10 July 2013|
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The party was established in 2013 with the aim of representing the interests of Arabic-speaking Christians in Israel. The party encourages full integration of Arabophone Christians into Israeli society, the two-state solution, and enlistment of Arabophone Christians into the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded by Bishara Shilyan, a 58-year-old sea captain from Nazareth. One of the reasons for founding the party is the belief that the existing Arab parties predominantly serve Muslim interests. Israel's Arabophone Christians are predominantly Melkite Greek and Roman Catholic and represent a minority within the broader Arab population of the country.
The party's founder, Shilyan, has also said he wants to build a 30.5-metre (100 ft) tall statue of Jesus (modelled on Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue) on top of a mountain in Nazareth. He said the purpose of the statue would be to prevent Nazareth's Christian heritage from being eroded. The town's Christian population has been steadily decreasing relative to its Muslim population.
- Schwartz, Sharona (10 June 2013). "'Arab Spring' Prompts Israeli Christians to Break from Muslim Political Parties and Form New Movement". TheBlaze. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Berman, Lazar; Miller, Elhanan (10 July 2013). "New Christian Arab party calls for IDF enlistment". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Jones, Ryan (10 July 2013). "New Arab Christian party announced in Israel". Israel Today. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Bohon, Dave (27 December 2013). "Plans Shaping up for 100-foot Jesus Statue in Muslim-Dominated Nazareth". The New American. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
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